‘Batten down the hatches’: NSW storms knock out power to thousands, major delays at Sydney Airport
A series of severe thunderstorms has whipped the coast of NSW, bringing down trees in western Sydney, cutting power and pelting some suburbs with large hailstones.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) issued a severe thunderstorm warning this afternoon, citing the possibility of hail and heavy rain.
The cluster of storms swept down from the state’s Central Coast.
The State Emergency Service received more than 650 calls for help and residents in the Hills District shared images of large hailstones in their backyards.
The wild weather also brought down trees across many suburbs, including Carlingford, and cut power to thousands of homes.
According to Ausgrid, 22,000 homes were without power in suburbs including Pennant Hills, Cherrybrook, Beecroft, Thornleigh and Castle Hill.
Sandra Nicholson from the Transport Management Centre said there were lengthy delays across Sydney’s road network, including around Castle Hill Road in Cherrybrook.
Sydney Trains said services were suspended between Blacktown and Lidcombe due to power outages and debris on the tracks, while a lightning strike at Granville caused further impacts on the network.
By 6:00pm the bureau said the threat from severe thunderstorms in the warning area had eased, however a second cluster of storms was heading down the coast from Newcastle.
While rain became heavy in some parts of Sydney’s CBD, the city was not in the direct firing line for damaging winds and hail.