Integral Energy says there were 2,500 lightning strikes when severe thunderstorms damaged roofs, felled trees and sparked small brush fires in the Blue Mountains and western Sydney last night. About 14,500 homes in the Penrith area and the Blue Mountains were without power at the height of the blackout.
The State Emergency Service says it received 50 calls for help. Integral Energy says 550 homes are still without power. A spokesman says power should be fully restored within the next couple of hours.