BAD weather smashed through the Hunter and Central Coast on Wednesday night, with heavy rain and powerful winds playing second fiddle to a brilliant light show.
Lightning lit up the skies over Newcastle almost without pause around 9pm after ominous skies and a relentless rumble of thunder signalled a storm was on its way.
The storm cell surged north from the Central Coast, where it left about 600 homes around Ourimbah without power on Wednesday evening.
Ausgrid crews were working to fix the problems but warned it may take several hours to restore power.
More than 9000 Hunter and Central Coast properties were affected by power outages on Wednesday night, according to Ausgrid.
The cell was smashing Swansea and Lake Macquarie at 8.30pm before whipping over inner Newcastle close to 9pm.