Holy lightning! 450 strikes every 10 minutes Wednesday morning


Approximately 6,187 lightning strikes total over four hours across 15 counties

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Thunderstorms rolled through the area Wednesday morning, producing heavy rain, thunder and lightning, along with some small hail and minor flooding in spots.

KXAN meteorologist David Yeomans said at the storm’s peak around 5:30 a.m., there were 450 lightning strikes every 10 minutes in our area. Over the course of four hours, there were approximately 6,187 lightning strikes in our 15-county viewing area.

One of those struck near Lockhart at 6:16 a.m. and caused an oil tank to catch fire, leading to a massive fire and smoke that could be seen for miles.

Fourteen of those 15 counties were under severe thunderstorm warnings at the same time Wednesday morning, something Yeomans and meteorologist Sean Kelly said was extremely rare.

The National Weather Service issued its first severe thunderstorm warning around 3:30 a.m. and allowed it to expire by 6 a.m.

KXAN viewer Vasilis Vagias sent us this video from the Teravista neighborhood in Georgetown, which shows lightning racing across the sky.

The storms knocked out power to hundreds of people. Austin Energy reported 1,211 people without power at the peak, with about 800 customers powerless near Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. They currently expect to have power back on by mid-morning. Oncor Energy also had a number of outages in Pflugerville, Round Rock, Georgetown, and the Coupland area.

There were reports of minor flooding in Giddings, as well.

The skies started to clear in the Austin area around 6:45 a.m. Yeomans and Kelly said the worst is over, and it should be a beautiful rest of the day.

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