IT WAS lucky the storm hit a week before school started. The powerful impact of the lightning bolt sent fragments of timber flying through the air and through the wall of a building at Mundubbera State School. Principal Peter Townsend wasn’t at school at the time. “The heavy rain and hail prevented me from driving,” Mr Townsend said. “It was lucky it was last week in that it gave us time to clean up before the start of term.”
Edna Law I’m not sure if I heard it or saw it first, but it was so loud and the flash was very bright.
A LIGHTNING bolt that decimated a tree at Mundubbera State School could have endangered lives if it came a week later when children were back at school.
The ripper storm tore through Mundubbera last Tuesday bringing with it high winds, marble-sized hail and cloud-to-ground lighting strikes.
The lightning strike came just as cleaners Edna Law and Pam Tanzer sat down for their afternoon break.
Ms Law said the storm was building up for most of the morning and it sounded its warning for more than an hour before it moved through the town.
“There was a car parked close to the tree when it exploded, but luckily it didn’t get damaged,” she said.
“There were flames and pieces of wood flying through the air. One piece even put a hole in the cement sheeting on one of the nearby buildings.”
Ms Law said she had never been close to a lightning strike before and she did not want to be that close again.
“I’m not sure if I heard it or saw it first, but it was so loud and the flash was very bright,” she said.
School principal Peter Townsend said he was not at the school during the storm.
“The heavy rain and hail prevented me from driving,” he said.
“It was lucky that it was last week in that it gave us time to clean up before the start of term.”
As the storm passed through town it sent people scurrying to get their cars under cover.
Cars were parked under shop awnings carports and anywhere else that could protect them.
Several people were hit by hailstones as they ran to protect their property.
Ethan, Brittany and Ansley Clement live directly across the road from the school and said they were picking up baby birds that had fallen from a nest in the tree.
“We are going to try to save these little birds,” Brittany said.
“We will have to try to catch insects for them and keep them warm.”
CRACK: Brittany, Ansley and Ethan Clement were collecting baby birds that survived the lightning strike.