Sydney and the Hunter and Central Coast regions have been belted by their most severe weather in years. Gale force winds, described as “cyclonic” of up to 135kph and torrential rain have brought death and destruction across a wide area of NSW.
At least three people are reported dead, with power cut off to over 200,000 homes, due to the wild weather. Dungog, where the three elderly citizens were killed, is amongst the worst hit. The ABC has reported that homes in the town have been taken off their footings by severe flooding, while Hunter police commander Jeff Loy confired that several homes had been washed away completely.
State Premier Mike Baird said the weather emergency was ongoing likely to worsen in to Tuesday evening, particularly around Newcastle, calling on bosses to allow employees to leave early if they lived in affected areas.
SES personnel had conducted 47 flood rescues in the emergency by Tuesday afternoon and answered to more than 4,500 requests for help.
According to The Bureau of Meteorology, the 119ml of rain recorded in Sydney over the 24 hours up to 9am on Tuesday morning makes it the city’s wettest one day soaking in 13 years. Sydney Harbour was closed during the day, with enormous swells forcing the cancellation of ferry services and stranding cruise liner Carnival Spirit outside the heads unable to dock. Tens of thousands of Sydney homes woke up with no power on Tuesday morning with local flooding causing traffic jams and wind gusts leaving behind collapsed scaffolding and delaying flights.
TOP IMAGE: Wild weather lashes Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach, blowing sand and spray up on to the promenade. (Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images)