BEAUDESERT residents are reeling after a lightning strike left them with a gaping hole in their roof this afternoon.
Serena Drive resident Travis Paulson said he was in the kitchen when lightning struck his house and the house next door.
“I was cooking up bacon and eggs and all of a sudden there was a bang and a crackling sound,” he said.
“I saw that the power was out straight away but then I noticed the blackened walls around the power points and the big hole in the roof.
“It blew the TV antenna right off the roof, blew out the power points and the light fixture in the kitchen just popped out.
“It even knocked the nails out of the ceiling. We went outside and all the neighbours were out on the street – some of them had seen the lightning hit our house.”
Mr Paulson’s mother Amanda Smith was in work when she got the call to say the house had been struck by lightning.
“I just told him to switch the power off at the mains but I had no idea it would have caused this much damage,” she said.
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Ms Smith said the family would have to find alternative accommodation for the night because the house was unsafe, although the State Emergency Service were on hand to conduct emergency repairs.
Just around the corner from Serena Drive Helen and Mick Brilliant, who run the community radio station BeauFM in town, said they were at home when the storm hit.
“I was making lunch for us when all of a sudden there was a massive flash in the house and immediately after it was kaboom,” Ms Brilliant said.
“It was loud enough that the house rattled and the clock even fell off the wall.”
Ms Brilliant said the storm also took the radio station off-air for about 30 minutes but the power only went off for a split second at their house.
The storm triggered a widespread power cut.
An Energex spokesman said 749 premises had lost power after the lightning strike.
“Most of them had power restored fairly quickly and now there are 28 customers still without power,” he said.
The premises still waiting for their power to go back on are in Duckett, Hayes, Tilley and William Streets.