Rainbows and outages

Powerful thunderstorms ripped through the Charlotte metro region Wednesday evening, leaving tens of thousands without power and dumping heavy rain.

Hail and strong winds accompanied the storms, and firefighters battled blazes set by lightning strikes.

No one was injured in Charlotte, but Duke Energy reported about 15,000 customers without power in the area at one point, with 8,500 of those outages in Mecklenburg. Another 3,300 Cabarrus customers and 2,200 in Lancaster County, S.C., lost electricity.

The weather was typical of Southern summers – hot temperatures followed by powerful evening storms – but the pattern has grown scarce in the past year. Forecasters expect today and Friday to be hot and generally dry, with temperatures that could reach the 90s. But there is a chance of a thunderstorm this afternoon.

On Tuesday, isolated street flooding and downed trees were reported across the city and firefighters responded to downed power lines across south and southeast Charlotte, according to Fire Department spokesman Capt. Rob Brisley.

Trees struck houses in the 3200 block of Nancy Creek Road and in the 4200 block of Oldfield Road, both in south Charlotte. No one was injured in either incident.