Lightning strikes and heavy rain have wreaked havoc on Melbourne’s transport, roads and residential areas.
The storm, which kicked off early Monday morning, has lead to house fires, train delays and congested traffic, leaving commuters struggling to get to work on time.
Late to work?
City loop trains were suspended due to lightning, with commuters being advised to consider other transport.
The service is now back up and running, but Metro Trains says some services could by delayed by up to 40 minutes because lightning strikes have damaged signal and trackside rail equipment.
— Caitlin Ryan (@caitlinlryan) October 26, 2014
The city’s roads have also been brought to a standstill, with traffic on the popular Eastlink road barely moving.
A Melbourne Airport spokeswoman said lightning came close on a number of occasions overnight and people had to be moved from the tarmac, but things were back to normal.
“I’d recommended people come as normal,” she said.
In the inner Melbourne suburb of Prahran, a lightning strike is believed to have sparked a fire that destroyed a Melbourne home, causing an estimated $850,000 damage.
A tree branch likely to have been set ablaze by lightning caused fire to spread to a Prahran house about 2am (AEDT).
Fire crews arrived to find the top floor of the dwelling well alight and flames threatening nearby homes.
Residents from several homes were evacuated for two-and-a-half hours.
Despite the storms, the SES had a quiet night with just nine calls for help, mainly for downed trees.
— MelbourneWeatherWear (@WeatherWear1) October 26, 2014
Dog owners have taken to Twitter to share their pet’s distress, with many pups cowering in fear from the loud thunder cracks.
— Neil McMahon (@NeilMcMahon) October 26, 2014
Clear skies to come
Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Stephen King said the first band of storms hit between 1am and 3am, followed by another at about 6am.
“We haven’t had too much damage with them, which has been good,” Mr King told AAP.
The storms are expected to clear by 10am, he said.
Between five and 10mm of rain had fallen across most of Melbourne, with no reports of damaging wind or hail.
— with AAP