Sydney storm: Thousands remain without power after wild weather

Australia

Thousands of Sydney residents woke Saturday without power after an intense burst of thunderstorms caused widespread power outages.

Nine people were rescued from floodwaters and more than 40,000 properties lost power after the storms across Sydney and the Illawarra and the Hunter regions on Friday evening.

Flash flooding in Parramatta and other parts of western Sydney turned intersections to lakes and led several drivers to ask for SES help to get them out of their cars.

Guildford copped 61 millimetres of rain, including 47mm in just 30 minutes while Sydney Olympic Park received 40mm in the 40 minutes to 7pm.

The SES was responding to more than 500 jobs, mainly for leaky roofs and trees down.

Organisers of the Tropfest short film festival have scrambled to find a different location for the event at the eleventh hour after wild storms damaged a stage and screens.

The festival will now be held in an alternate location within Parramatta Park on Saturday afternoon.

“While the site we had built in The Crescent at Parramatta Park cannot be used, we are fortunate that Rose Lawn, a safe, suitable location adjacent to the original site will be ready for fans to enjoy today,” event director Paul Kind
said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Endeavour Energy is tending to more than 250 electrical hazards that cut power to 29,000 homes.

In the city’s north and east, some 15,000 properties on Ausgrid’s network went dark.

Video posted on social media showed flash flooding in Parramatta, with water inundating cars. 

Endeavour Energy said 26,500 homes were without power, while Ausgrid says at least 7,600 homes in the city’s east and north are in the dark for reasons including fallen power lines.

“Never approach fallen wires, always assume they’re live, stay at least 8 metres away and report them to us on 131388,” Ausgrid said in a statement.

Another video posted on Twitter from Putney Hill showed power lines sparking as heavy winds gushed in the background. 

Train and airport services have also been affected by the wild weather.

At 7.30 pm on Friday, Sydney Trains announced some services were delayed after lightning damaged equipment at Blacktown, while social media users posted photos of water leaking inside the train carriage.

A Sydney Airport spokesperson said 30 flights had been delayed due to the weather, with travellers facing delays of up to 90 minutes.

The spokesperson advised anyone travelling via the airport to check with their airline in advance.

The NSW Rural Fire Service has warned that the strong winds would increase fire risk across parts of the state over the weekend, forecasting “very high fire danger”.

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