Kiama chimney exploded in thunderstorm

Lightning struck a chimney in Kiama causing it to ‘‘explode’’ during Wednesday’s storms.

NSW SES Kiama unit work on the house hit by lightning. Picture: NSW SES

NSW SES Kiama unit work on the house hit by lightning. Picture: NSW SES

State Emergency Service volunteers worked for two hours to repair damage caused by the strike which happened at about 5pm.

Neighbour Sylvia Allen said she was reading quietly when she heard two loud claps of thunder followed by a ‘‘huge bang’’.

‘‘I didn’t know what had happened,’’ Ms Allen said.

‘‘My neighbours on the other side phoned me to find out if I was ok.’’

Ms Allen said she felt lucky the strike had missed her own chimney.

‘‘Perhaps next door, which is a bit higher, caught it unfortunately,’’ she said.

‘‘I’m not really the sort of person who gets too upset about things like that...I’ve been lucky on this occasion and I don’t suppose it’ll ever happen again. 

‘‘Fortunately there wasn’t too much damage – the SES were wonderful, I know my neighbours were very impressed with them.’’

SES acting region controller Ashley Sullivan said six volunteers  repaired tile damage.

He said it was rare for the SES to respond to lightning strikes.

‘‘It’s not a regular occurrence for us to get called to roofs damaged by lightning,’’ he said.

The Illawarra copped a soaking on Wednesday when a series of storms moved in from the west.

Russell Vale and Rixons Pass recording more than 30 millimetres of rainfall. 

Bellambi recorded 22 millimetres of rainfall and Balgownie recorded 16 millimetres.