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Sydney's coast to bear the brunt of storm

Monday January 28, 2013 - 13:52 EDT

People living in the coastal fringe of Sydney are being told to prepare for heavy rain and damaging winds as ex-tropical cyclone Oswald moves down the New South Wales coast.

The low-pressure system has already brought extensive flooding and wind damage to parts of Queensland and northern New South Wales.

It is now moving south, at a slower rate than expected, and heavy rain is not expected to reach Sydney until after midnight.

Forecaster Julie Evans says large parts of the city will escape the winds.

"Fortunately it'll come through quite late in Sydney," she said.

"The winds will probably only impact the coastal fringe, so people in the western suburbs probably won't see much at all.

"The very strong winds that we've seen in the northern parts, those winds will probably only be impacting the coastal fringe in Sydney."

Ms Evans says the downpour in New South Wales is taking place ahead of the main low-pressure system.

Coastal areas could experience wind gusts of more than 125 kilometres per hour.

Ms Evans says the system will ease tomorrow.
"We will see a slow clearance from the north, but today, more importantly I guess, that low is expected to track down across New South Wales, and then move out to the Tasman Sea overnight tonight," she said.

The weather is wreaking havoc on the state's roads with the Pacific Highway closed south of Grafton.

Holiday makers returning to Sydney and other motorists are being urged to check conditions before they travel and consider delaying their journey.


© ABC 2013

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