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City lashed by 20,000 lightning strikes

The heat generated by lighitning. Picture WeatherZone.JPG
A massive storm caused power outages and incredible displays of lightning in Sydney. Picture: WeatherZone

Thunderstorms rolled into Sydney overnight, forcing emergency responders into action, as thousands of lightning strikes wreaked havoc.

An unseasonably warm August day set the stage for the storm that kicked off on Wednesday afternoon with a significant downpour.

More than 30,000 customers were without power across Greater Sydney as of 7pm, and it took Ausgrid crews almost two hours to switch the electricity back on.

Fantastic displays of lightning were recorded across the city, with residents reporting that bolts had struck the roof of apartment blocks and skyscrapers and thunderous claps marked their arrival.

More than 21,000 lightning strikes were reported within 100km of Sydney in just three hours, according to a tweet by WeatherZone meteorologist Ben Domensino.

One homeowner in the city’s east was startled by the sound of a loud bang before a neighbour alerted him a lightning bolt had struck his roof.

“The biggest bang I've ever heard in my life, just scared the bejesus out of me,” Maroubra resident Simon Hodge told Nine News.

“Next thing I know, someone was banging on the door saying lightning struck the building and there's smoke coming out of it.”

Meanwhile, a NSW SES crew stationed at the edge of the Royal National Park in Bundeena caught a spectacular light show on camera.

A web of light flashes across the skyline before disappearing in a matter of seconds.

More rain is forecast for the city on Thursday but is due to clear by the evening to make way for a cloudy but dry weekend.