Electrical storm strikes overnight

19:50, Dec 06 2012
electrical storm standard
An electrical storm struck overnight causing mayhem.

Last night's early summer storm centred on the Moutere and Mahana strafed the region with lightning and knocked out power while wind squalls brought down trees.

Nelson weather forecaster John Mathieson said last night's powerful storm, which struck just before 10pm last night, was a typical summer storm associated with the deep low pressure system moving over the mid South Island.

It was not connected to the weather system that struck Auckland late yesterday, which spawned lethal tornadoes.

Mr Mathieson said the storm stretched from coastal Motueka to the interior of the region, and dumped good doses of rain to parched areas.

The storm sparked power cuts and brought down trees at Nayland Primary School and Isel Park in Stoke.

The thundering storm shook Craig Iles’ timber house in Appleby and electricity surges sent sparks shooting out of power sockets.

‘‘The whole house was shaking,’’ said Mr Iles.  ‘‘The lights in the lounge popped at about 11pm and sparks came out from the TV plug.  I unplugged it, and sparks were shooting a metre out.’’

He turned off the mains and was worried for his 15-week-old twin girls.

‘‘It was real loud.  The thunder sounded like it was right outside.  I didn’t mind but the missus was pretty scared.’’

He said their computer modem was wrecked, and he’d only bought it two weeks ago.