Weather News

Severe weather warning sees thunderstorm lash Sydney, damaging power lines and uprooting trees

Thursday December 5, 2019 - 10:19 EDT
ABC licensed image
This street in Gordon, on the Upper North Shore, was particularly badly hit. - ABC licensed

Trees were uprooted and power was cut to 52,000 homes in less than 10 minutes after an intense burst of wild weather swept through Sydney on Tuesday afternoon.

In Gordon and Killara, on the Upper North Shore, several leafy streets were transformed into danger zones of drooping power lines and smashed cars when the storm hit about 1pm on Tuesday.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) issued a severe thunderstorm warning for large chunks of NSW and said areas north of Sydney would be the worst-affected into the evening.

The NSW State Emergency Service (SES) said it had responded to about 1,200 calls for help in Sydney and the Blue Mountains.

BOM meteorologist Gabrielle Woodhouse said there had been wind gusts in Sydney of up to 100kph.

"We expect a similar situation through parts of The Hunter, Mid North Coast and parts of the North West Slopes, Plains and Northern Tablelands," she said.

"We recommend you move your car away from trees.

"Secure and put away loose items in the yard. Stay well clear of fallen powerlines.

"It's best not to be outside so much because the winds and the lightning can cause problems so best to stay inside and wait to see what happens after the storm before going out."

Ausgrid said it was working to restore power to homes and businesses across Sydney, the Central Coast and Lake Macquarie.

On Tuesday evening, 50,000 homes remained without power as crews from Ausgrid worked to restore outages.

Ausgrid said it may take some time "due to the level of damage".

"Customers should prepare now to be without power for dinner tonight and should make other arrangements where possible," a spokesperson from Ausgrid said.

"Those who rely on a continuous power supply for medical or life support equipment should consider activating their back up plans."

Power is currently out to residents in across parts of the Northern Beaches and North Shore.

Suburbs affected by outages include North Narrabeen, Chatswood, Gordon and Galston.

This front was expected to move out to sea on Tuesday evening.

The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) tweeted: "Emergency Services are receiving a large number of 000 calls for assistance with storm related incidents across the Northern Beaches and Hornsby/Ku-ring-gai areas."

Julie Liebert was driving home from Marsden Park and said several trees were blocking traffic on Mona Vale Road.

"The further north I went, it was like something had gone through and knocked all the trees down," she said.

"I was thinking 'this was awful' but the closer I got to home, the worse it was getting and the more and more scared I was getting, thinking, 'what's it going to be like when I get home?'"


© ABC 2019

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