Flights at Vancouver's airport were delayed for several hours yesterday because of a thunder-and-lightning storm.

Kate Donegani of the Vancouver Airport Authority says aircraft on the ground weren't allowed to taxi and crews couldn't load or unload baggage for several hours due to safety concerns.

She says normal operations resumed after the lightning passed.

Power was knocked out for roughly 1,400 households after the spectacular storm.

"It's like somebody put off a good high-powered rifle right next to your ear," said North Vancouver homeowner Glenn McNeil. A tree smashed into a power line outside McNeil's home in the worst thunderstorm he's ever seen.

"This probably takes the cake of all of them," he said.

Scott Hussey, who also lives in North Vancouver, was also shocked by the swift destruction of a nearby tree that the storm caused.

"Saw lightning hit the trunk, the middle of the trunk basically shot down, exploded as loud as I've ever heard," he said. A branch from the tree shot off the tree and right through a neighbour's window, Hussey said.

Environment Canada says an upper low-pressure system off Oregon's coast has been moving north and bringing rain and thunderstorms to southwestern regions of the province.