Lightning strike sparks fire as rain tumbles | PICTURES

A HOUSE in North Albury became a freak victim of yesterday’s stormy weather with lightning sparking a fire at the property.

A thunderbolt hit the point where a power line attaches to a bargeboard on the front of the house, on the corner of Smith and Frauenfelder streets, about 11.15am.

Neighbours responded to calls for help from the home’s owner and were able to quell flames with an electrical extinguisher before the blaze could move into the roof cavity.

Crews from NSW Fire and Rescue and Essential Electricity also responded to ensure there was no major structural damage to the weatherboard home.

It was the only major incident reported as storms lashed the Border and North East for much of the day.

As of 7pm last night, 30.8 millimetres of rain had been dumped on Albury — more than half the average May rainfall of 53.8 millimetres.

Up until yesterday, the region had only received 24.8 millimetres this month.

Though no accidents were reported, the weather played havoc in other ways.

Wodonga Council closed Whytes Road near Killara — a “popular” floodplain where cars get stuck — from 3pm until this morning as a precautionary measure, while Wodonga’s football and soccer clubs were forced to call off training due to the state of the city’s ovals.

Whyte's Road was closed as water pooled in a dip that cars often get stuck in during flooding. Picture: PETER MERKESTEYN

Whyte's Road was closed as water pooled in a dip that cars often get stuck in during flooding. Picture: PETER MERKESTEYN

Elsewhere in the region, Mount Buffalo was drenched with a whopping 74 millimetres; Mount Hotham, 58.8 millimetres of rain and Bright, 55 millimetres.

The rain was in contrast to the unseasonably warm May experienced so far — the mercury was still nudging 20 degrees at 7.20am yesterday before it dipped to 14 degrees by 10.30am.

Bureau of Meterology duty forecaster Stephen King said the streak of 20-plus days were probably over.

“Broadly speaking, we’ve seen a blocking pattern this month that has allowed the continent to heat up much more like it would in summer, and the cold fronts just hadn’t been reaching up,” he said.

More showers can be expected today with a top of 15 degrees, with maximums of 17 and 18 degrees tomorrow and Friday.

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