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BOM weather: Hail blankets parts of Sydney as NSW hit with thunderstorms

By Paige Cockburn, Saturday September 8, 2018 - 00:40 EST
ABC licensed image
Hail and ice cover the Princes Highway in Waterfall between Sydney and Wollongong. - ABC licensed

Hailstones have pelted down in Sydney and beyond, blanketing some roads, as severe thunderstorms battered parts of New South Wales.

The Princes Highway at Waterfall looked as though a snowstorm has swept through on Friday, with the road covered in hail and ice.

"Are we back at Perisher?" said Paul Lyth, who was driving between Wollongong and Sydney.

"One hell of a storm!"

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) issued a severe thunderstorm warning on Friday night for heavy rain and large hailstones in the Northern Rivers, Mid North Coast, North West Slopes and Plains and Northern Tablelands Forecast Districts.

This included locations such as Grafton, Glen Innes, Inverell, Woolgoolga, Bundarra and Bingara.

The State Emergency Service advises people to move cars under cover, keep clear of creeks, storm drains and floodwater and stay indoors with children and pets, but away from windows.

The BOM cancelled two previous warnings for the Sydney, Hunter, Illawarra areas as well as the North West Slopes and Plains, Central West Slopes and Northern Tablelands after they passed.

Significant hail hit Sydney suburbs on Friday, including Mascot, Zetland, Maroubra, La Perouse, Bankstown, Ashfield and Rockdale.

In Bankstown, 58 millilitres of rain was recorded in an hour, and 45mm was recorded in Milperra.

Sydney train passengers on the T2 Inner West & Leppington Line, T3 Bankstown Line and the T8 Airport & South Line were advised to allow extra travel time after lightning strikes damaged equipment at Campsie, and there were urgent track equipment repairs at St James earlier.

The Sydney Harbour southbound tunnel re-opened around 7:00pm after being closed for five hours due to a police chase that ended in a motorcycle crash.

It was taking some drivers two hours just to cross the harbour and traffic had been banked up for 10 kilometres.

At the airport, inbound and outbound flights have been significantly delayed with some passengers reporting wait times of an hour on the tarmac.

Close to 50 flights across all airlines have been cancelled since around 5:00pm.


© ABC 2018

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