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Sydney storm: Power cut to 40,000 homes across Sydney, Central Coast

By Riley Stuart, Dom Vukovic and Paige Cockburn, Saturday February 18, 2017 - 06:30 EDT
ABC licensed image
Multiple lightning strikes were seen across the Sydney CBD during the storms. - ABC licensed

A powerful storm that blitzed through Sydney yesterday afternoon before moving north-east left at least 40,000 homes and businesses without power, with the Central Coast most affected.

The storm dumped rain and hail across parts of western Sydney, before impacting the Greater Sydney area, with the NSW SES saying the city escaped relatively unscathed.

"Because the storm moved quickly we didn't see too much damage," NSW SES spokesman Phil Campbell said.

SES volunteers responded to more than 300 callouts for help, with the worst-affected areas being around the western suburbs of Sydney, Wollondilly in the south-west, and parts of the northern beaches.

"Volunteers are mostly seeing damage caused by strong winds bringing down trees and branches and power lines, and also causing roof damage to a number of properties," Mr Campbell said.

"We're warning motorists to take care when driving.

"If there's power lines down stay well clear."

Ausgrid said the storm left 40,000 homes and businesses without power, with the Central Coast the most affected.

"Hopefully, crews will be able to back-feed, or switch supply from another part of the network," Ausgrid's Anthony O'Brian said.

"It's a result of that large lightning storm that came through so quickly this afternoon."

The power supplier reported 700 customers around Sydney experienced blackouts in parts of St Ives and North Turramurra on Sydney's upper north shore.

The lightning also damaged signalling equipment on the Wyong and Newcastle train line, earlier forcing trains to stop running between Gosford and Morisset.

The Transport Management Centre said those services have now been restored, but warned passengers to expect delays.

Meanwhile on the Hunter Line buses replaced services at some stops due to lightning strikes damaging signal equipment.

The train service between Sydney and Gosford continued to operate, but with delays.

Earlier in Sydney winds of up to 93 kilometres per hour were recorded at Horsley Park in Sydney's west, and hail battered parts of Penrith.

A severe thunderstorm warning was last night in place for Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Tenterfield, Woolgoolga, Sawtell and Dorrigo.

Some flights in and out of Sydney Airport were also affected on Friday with some diversions and flight cancellations.

Meanwhile a 36-year-old man has suffered a minor shock after a lightning strike in Sydney's Northwest.

The ABC understands he was working on the site of the new Rouse Hill Station when lightning hit a wire.

He was taken to Blacktown Hospital in a stable condition.

The State Emergency Service advised people to move their cars undercover or away from trees, secure or put away loose items and stay at least eight metres away from fallen powerlines.


© ABC 2017

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