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NSW weather: Storm lashes central-west, BOM tells Sydney to prepare for wild Tuesday

Monday March 13, 2017 - 21:45 EDT
ABC licensed image
A storm moves towards Sydney on March 13, 2017. - ABC licensed

New South Wales' wild weather will continue on Tuesday, with the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) warning up to 80 millimetres of rain and severe thunderstorms could lash Sydney and the Blue Mountains.

A savage storm moved over the state's central-west on Monday, with heavy rain and golf-ball sized hailstones falling on some areas.

It was expected to continue overnight, with a severe weather warning issued for areas including Armidale, Orange, Mudgee, Bathurst, Tamworth, Gunnedah, Moree, Narrabri, Dubbo, Parkes, Wellington and Coonamble.

BOM forecaster Rebecca Kamitakahara said the action was expected to hit Sydney on Tuesday.

"In Sydney you could see some of the heavier rainfall in the morning," she said.

"It's going to be a wet day and there's quite a good chance of severe thunderstorms on Tuesday through most of Sydney to the Blue Mountains.

"Particularly parts of the Blue Mountains and parts of far western Sydney could be in for a really wet day with rainfall totals anywhere between 40mm and 80mm."

She said the city's eastern suburbs could expect between 20mm and 40mm of rain.

Roads turn to rivers in Dubbo

Dubbo has felt the brunt of the storm so far, with golf-ball-sized hailstones and 69 millimetres of rain falling between 9:00am and 8:00pm, turning streets into shallow canals.

Extra emergency crews have been called into Dubbo and the State Emergency Service (SES) says it has received 65 callouts for help.

Local SES controller Phil Lalor said some homes had experienced water leaking through ceilings and power points, presenting a safety risk.

"[With] the dry weather that we've had, gutters have filled up with leaves, and then we've had hail, it freezes and then it stops the water going down the drainpipe," Mr Lalor said.

"The water then overflows from the gutter and back into the wall cavity and in some cases, into the roof cavity, and then starts leaking through power points, through light points."

The Charles Sturt University campus in Dubbo closed, with all students and staff evacuated as a result of water damage to buildings.

The storm cut power to around 4,000 people on the Central Coast and north of Sydney, which was restored later in the evening.

Less severe storms were felt in northern, southern and central coastal regions as well as southern parts of the Illawarra and the Blue Mountains.

The NSW State Emergency Service (SES) warned residents to keep at least 8 metres away from fallen powerlines, unplug computers and appliances and stay indoors, away from windows, during the storm.

The low pressure system is moving up to Queensland slowly and the BOM has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for people in the Darling Downs and Granite Belt districts.


© ABC 2017

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