Severe Storm Hits NSW East Coast, Warning Issued

By @snksounak on
A storm cloud passes over bathers who prepare to leave Sydney's Manly Beach
A storm cloud passes over bathers who prepare to leave Sydney's Manly Beach during an afternoon storm March 5, 2014. The storm, which generated little rain but high gusts of wind, was blown out to sea. REUTERS/Will Burgess

People in Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra are warned against going outdoors by the NSW State Emergency Service. Severe weather has been reported to have affected the region.

According to SES spokesman Phil Campbell, volunteers performed around 40 flood rescues as at least 620 calls for help were made. The flood rescues were done in the Illawarra and in the south-eastern suburbs of Sydney. He asked people to stay well clear of flood waters which they might come across by avoiding any unnecessary travel. The Bureau of Meteorology also cautioned people that dangerous storms had been detected on the radar. The storms are likely to affect Maroubra, Bankstown and Sydney Airport. After that, the storms will affect the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Olympic Park and the CBD.

The storm raged through NSW's east coast as it battered houses and caused flight delays. Campbell also said that power lines and trees had been down as conditions were so hazardous in certain areas that crews were not able to reach there. Around 5500 houses lost power in the southern part of Sydney, electricity network Ausgrid reported. The Australian reported that wind gusts of 95 km/h had been recorded at Sydney Airport at around 9pm. ABC News, on the other hand, reported that wind gusts of 160 km/h had been recorded in the area. Several passengers complained about delays on social media.

Annalie Killian tweeted that storms were so severe that it pushed the stationary A330 Airbus at Sydney Airport. Brett Leonard wrote that he was stuck on the plane for four hours. It was also reported that ground crews were nowhere to be seen while passengers sat on planes. Passengers apparently had to wait for hours before the individual planes were cancelled. An airport spokesperson, on the other hand, said that it was operating even though there were delays due to the storm. "Flights are coming in and out. The weather is causing delays to unloading aircrafts.  It will contribute to knock-on delays," she said.

The SES earlier reported that a train had been stuck between Bexley North and Kingsgrove. 60 passengers were safely rescued from the train.

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