Two people have been struck by lightning as severe thunderstorms swept through Sydney causing flight and traffic delays.
A man in his 20s was hit by lightning in Hazelbrook, in the Blue Mountains, and another person was struck in Cabramatta in Sydney’s southwest, an ambulance spokeswoman said.
Both relatively minor cases came after the Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe thunderstorm warning on Wednesday afternoon for areas near Parramatta, Sydney Olympic Park and Richmond.
The bureau warned the storm was moving towards the northeast and was forecast to hit Hornsby, Sydney city, the Harbour Bridge and the northern beaches.
By 7pm, the worst of the storm seemed to have passed, but thousands of homes in the Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury, Southern Highlands and western Sydney regions were still without power.
Around three quarters of the state’s fire and rescue crews are responding to more than 80 storm-related incidents across the Sydney metro area, including trees and powerlines being down and flooding.
It took 20 firefighters around two hours to put out a fire at an electrical substation in the inner city suburb of Pyrmont.
Authorities aren’t sure what caused the fire, but think it may have been due to lightning.
The fire proved tricky for firefighters who were prevented from using water to extinguish the substation blaze as it had about 11,000 volts of electricity running through it, Superintendent Ian Krimmer said.
Instead, they worked to protect surrounding buildings, which included a five-level residential block, until the energy provider isolated power to the site.
About 25 residential units were evacuated as a precaution and there were no reports of injury.
The storms also caused delays to flights out of Sydney Airport with Qantas and Virgin saying domestic and international runways were closed for about two hours from 5.15pm.
Qantas said about 10 flights had been affected, some by up to two hours.
Meanwhile, trains are experienced delays between Richmond and Clarendon due to lightning strikes at Clarendon.
Buses operated a replacement service between the stations, however heavy traffic in the Richmond area caused delays for the buses.
There was also heavy traffic delays in Strathfield due to flooding.