‘I couldn’t believe it’

‘I couldn’t believe it’

The Walkers outside their Mount Nasura home on Monday, November 16. Photographs — Richard Polden.

A Mount Nasura couple has had their weekend away cut short after lightning struck a tree which then collapsed onto their Carawatha Avenue home on Saturday. 

Kathleen Walker and her husband had left their home and travelled to Mandurah for a leisurely weekend away, just hours before a significant storm front lashed Perth’s south-east. 

The area experienced heavy rainfall throughout the day, but at 9pm on November 14 residents on Carawatha Avenue reported hearing an almighty bang and contacted police. 

The pair awoke on Sunday morning to a call from Armadale Police, who said their home of 18 years had been badly damaged in the storm.

It wasn’t long after they arrived that Mrs Walker said she realised that she couldn’t even enter the home, which had filled with a potent gas smell. 

“The first thing I noticed was the smell of gas,” she said. 

“I quickly realised we had no power, no hot water – we couldn’t live here. 

“I couldn’t believe it – it looked like a bomb had hit it.

“Our back-patio area is ruined and there is debris everywhere, but we know that it could have been much, much worse. 

“It’s just so fortunate that we weren’t home at the time. 

“So many of our neighbours have commented on the noise – they heard a large bang, but it wasn’t until the next morning that they realised the extent of the damage. “I think my 82-year-old husband would have had a heart attack.” 

Fortunately, the house is insured and the pair are able to stay with their daughter in the coming weeks. 

As staff from the City of Armadale arrived early on Monday morning to assist with the clean up, Mrs Walker told Examiner Newspapers it wasn’t the first-time lightning had struck the home. 

About six years ago, the couple’s computer blew up following a lightning strike during a severe storm. 

Neighbours have also reported lightning having struck large trees in the area in the past. 

“We’ve lived here for 18 years and we’ve always been very weary of the large trees on the property,” she said.