Severe thunderstorms cause damage and flooding in Sydney and Wollongong


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A series of severe thunderstorms swept through Sydney and the Illawarra on Friday afternoon at one point shutting down Sydney airport and stranding passengers.

Roofs have been ripped off homes in Sydney’s inner west, lightening struck around the harbour and wind gusts of 93km/ph were recorded in the city’s western suburbs.

At 5pm further thunderstorms were heading towards the NSW east coast.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the city, Newcastle, Hunter Valley and the Blue Mountains around lunchtime. Late Friday afternoon, this was extended to cover almost the entire north of the state.

Flash flooding and large hailstones were all reported.

Sydney airport reduced operations as the storms passed through. In a tweet, airport bosses said: “We appreciate delays are frustrating, but safety is our foremost priority. Thanks for your ongoing patience while we ride this storm out!”


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Some Qantas passengers have spoken on delays for several hours and being stuck on planes while still parked at the terminal. One Qantas 747 international jet reportedly had to divert to Canberra because of the storms.

The NSW State Emergency Service has advised people to move their cars away from trees, secure loose items around the home and keep at least eight metres from any fallen power lines.

Phones should not be used during a storm and computers and appliances unplugged.

It was just 10 days ago that a monster storm raged through Sydney bringing flash flooding to a city that has otherwise sweltered through a parched summer.

The city was drenched in half a month’s worth of rain on February 6.

The city and the inner west suburb of Marrickville were hit with 53mm of rain with the majority falling in just one hour between 10am and 11am as the storm cell hit.

The storm caused an apartment building in Marrickville to be evacuated, amid fears it could collapse into a flooded water hole behind it.

Close to Malcolm Turnbull’s home in Point Piper, a massive sinkhole opened up as large as a backyard swimming pool.

The SES responded to 160 calls for help, including 16 people trapped in their cars who had to be rescued from floodwaters around the inner west and airport.

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