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Nightmare traffic delays in Sydney as worst downpour in three years paralyses the city

Sydney is being smashed by the worst November storm in 44 years, forcing the cancellation of almost 100 flights and causing chaos for commuters as roads are flooded and train services are cancelled. 

Parts of the city received almost one month’s worth of rainfall in just an hour as a ‘supercell’ thunderstorm makes its way along the east coast.

A person has been killed in a two-car crash in North Ryde, while two police officers were seriously injured by a falling tree while trying to rescue motorists trapped by floodwaters in the city’s north.

Commuters have been warned to stay inside as the dumping of rain coincides with the morning rush hour, as the heaviest rain in three years pounds Sydney and is set to continue for most of the day.

Only one runway is in operation at the airport and about 100 flights have been cancelled due to the intense downpours.

More than 200mm of rain is expected to fall in the city on Wednesday, as building floodwaters forced stranded drivers to be rescued from their cars.

Emergency services have labelled the conditions some of the ‘worst’ they have ever seen in Sydney.

 

Torrential rain has pounded Sydney on Wednesday, flooding streets and causing chaos in traffic for commuters

Council workers try to clear a drain on Railway Terrace in Lewisham during wild weather in Sydney on Wednesday

Council workers try to clear a drain on Railway Terrace in Lewisham during wild weather in Sydney on Wednesday

Sydney is being smashed by the worst November storm in 44 years, closing all but one runway at the city's airport and causing chaos for commuters as roads are flooded and train services are cancelled

Sydney is being smashed by the worst November storm in 44 years, closing all but one runway at the city’s airport and causing chaos for commuters as roads are flooded and train services are cancelled

Parts of the city received almost one month's worth of rainfall in just one hour as a 'supercell' thunderstorm makes its way along the east coast

Parts of the city received almost one month’s worth of rainfall in just one hour as a ‘supercell’ thunderstorm makes its way along the east coast

Sydney is being smashed by the worst November storm in 44 years, closing all but one runway at the city's airport and causing chaos for commuters as roads are flooded and train services are cancelled

Sydney is being smashed by the worst November storm in 44 years, closing all but one runway at the city’s airport and causing chaos for commuters as roads are flooded and train services are cancelled

Parts of the city received almost one month's worth of rainfall in just one hour as a 'supercell' thunderstorm makes its way along the east coast (Pictured: Flooding at Lewisham station)

Parts of the city received almost one month’s worth of rainfall in just one hour as a ‘supercell’ thunderstorm makes its way along the east coast (Pictured: Flooding at Lewisham station)

Commuters have been warned to stay inside as the dumping of rain coincides with the morning rush hour, as the worst rain in three years pounds Sydney (Pictured: Lewisham station)

Commuters have been warned to stay inside as the dumping of rain coincides with the morning rush hour, as the worst rain in three years pounds Sydney (Pictured: Lewisham station)

The rain burst through the roof of Town Hall station (pictured), stranding commuters who were left trying to navigate water inside the area

The rain burst through the roof of Town Hall station (pictured), stranding commuters who were left trying to navigate water inside the area

Passengers were subjected to delays and cancellations at Sydney Airport on Wednesday

Passengers were subjected to delays and cancellations at Sydney Airport on Wednesday

An airport spokeswoman said travellers should check with their airlines if their flight is affected before arriving at the terminal

An airport spokeswoman said travellers should check with their airlines if their flight is affected before arriving at the terminal

A police spokesman confirmed to Daily Mail Australia a male passenger died at the scene after a two-car crash at The Esplanade at Thornleigh on about 9.10 on Wednesday morning.  

‘The drivers, also both male, have been taken to Westmead Hospital in a stable condition. Both will undergo mandatory blood and urine tests,’ a police spokesperson said in a statement.

‘Both directions of The Esplanade remain closed with local traffic diversions in place. A report will be prepared for the Coroner.’ 

The harbour city copped more than a month’s worth of rain in less than two hours on Wednesday morning, as a series of severe thunderstorms hit the coast from Newcastle down to Wollongong.

Observatory Hill weather station recorded its monthly average for November in less than two hours, recording 84.6mm between 5.20am and 7am, beating the month’s average of 83.8mm.  

Mosman recorded 118mm to 9am while Chatswood had 105mm, including 66mm within one hour.

Shoalhaven’s Porters Creek Dam has recorded the state’s highest total so far, copping 152mm to 9am.

Sydney Airport was reduced to a single runway during the morning, as it was hit by strong winds and 39mm of rain.

The harbour city copped more than a month's worth of rain in less than two hours on Wednesday morning, as a series of severe thunderstorms hit the coast from Newcastle down to Wollongong

The harbour city copped more than a month’s worth of rain in less than two hours on Wednesday morning, as a series of severe thunderstorms hit the coast from Newcastle down to Wollongong

Observatory Hill weather station recorded its monthly average for November in less than two hours, recording 84.6mm between 5.20am and 7am, beating the month's average of 83.8mm

Observatory Hill weather station recorded its monthly average for November in less than two hours, recording 84.6mm between 5.20am and 7am, beating the month’s average of 83.8mm

Commuters had their travel disrupted by rain on Wednesday morning as intense rain affected train services across the city

Commuters had their travel disrupted by rain on Wednesday morning as intense rain affected train services across the city

About 90 domestic flights and four international flights have been cancelled, with passengers urged to contact their airline for more details.

The NSW SES has had more than 500 calls for help and rescued 12 people from floodwaters, mainly in the city’s north.

‘In most cases, people have just driven into flood waters, followed other people into flood waters, their cars have stopped and we’ve had to go and help them out,’ Greg Murphy told Sydney’s 2GB radio. 

A severe thunderstorm warning is still current for the Sydney metro region and parts of the Hunter, Illawarra, South Coast and Central Tablelands.

The heavy rain isn’t expected to ease until early Wednesday evening, but damaging winds could hang around until Thursday. 

The NSW SES has had more than 500 calls for help and rescued 12 people from floodwaters, mainly in the city's north

The NSW SES has had more than 500 calls for help and rescued 12 people from floodwaters, mainly in the city’s north

Covers were brought out at the Sydney Cricket Ground as a warm up game involving the Indian national team was cancelled

Covers were brought out at the Sydney Cricket Ground as a warm up game involving the Indian national team was cancelled

West Pennant Hills in the city's north-west received 72.5mm of rain in 60 minutes before 6.30am, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, and recorded more than 100mm at 8.30am

West Pennant Hills in the city’s north-west received 72.5mm of rain in 60 minutes before 6.30am, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, and recorded more than 100mm at 8.30am

West Pennant Hills in the city’s north-west received 72.5mm of rain in 60 minutes before 6.30am, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, and recorded more than 100mm at 8.30am.  

At least a dozen people have already had to be rescued as heavy rain and damaging winds lash Sydney and surrounding areas.

Two police officers were injured by a falling tree as they attempted to save motorists on a flooded road in Sydney’s north.

Vehicles were trapped on a road in North Ryde about 6.50am on Wednesday, and officers were trying to help drivers when a tree fell on them.

A female constable suffered a suspected broken leg due to the falling tree, while a male senior constable received minor injuries and is being assessed for a possible concussion.

The woman has been taken to Royal North Shore Hospital in a serious condition.

More than 200mm of rain is expected to fall in the city on Wednesday, as building floodwaters forced stranded drivers to be rescued from their cars

More than 200mm of rain is expected to fall in the city on Wednesday, as building floodwaters forced stranded drivers to be rescued from their cars

Water was seen gushing out of properties in Sydney on Wednesday during a 'supercell' thunderstorm

Water was seen gushing out of properties in Sydney on Wednesday during a ‘supercell’ thunderstorm

The NSW State Emergency Service had received more almost 260 calls for help by 7am on Wednesday, including 11 flood rescues, as severe thunderstorms swept across the harbour city.

Requests for help came from Artarmon, Macquarie Park, Pymble, West Ryde, Marrickville, Silverwater and the Northern Beaches.

Flights are being affected by the wild weather as the conditions are too dangerous to fly in, causing chaos at the airport.

Daily Mail Australia reporter Lauren Ferri, who was on a flight home to Sydney from Bali, described hectic scenes at the airport on Wednesday morning.

‘We’ve been sitting on the tarmac for an hour, no one knows what’s going on,’ she said.

‘Everyone’s getting pretty frustrated. There’s nowhere I want to be stuck more during a storm than Sydney Airport’s tarmac in a big metal box.’

Other passengers also vented their frustration about the inclement conditions affecting their travel.

‘I parked and walked from the car park to arrivals and it felt like I was walking through a cyclone. The wind is crazy. They said it would calm a little in the next hour before it gets worse again,’ Romina Rondinelli said. 

Flights will also be affected by the wild weather as the conditions are too dangerous to fly in, causing chaos at the airport (Heavy rain shown on the map in red)

Flights will also be affected by the wild weather as the conditions are too dangerous to fly in, causing chaos at the airport (Heavy rain shown on the map in red)

Airline passengers vented their frustration about the inclement conditions affecting their travel

Airline passengers vented their frustration about the inclement conditions affecting their travel

The pounding rain caused the ceiling to cave in at one property in Sydney on Wednesday (pictured)

The pounding rain caused the ceiling to cave in at one property in Sydney on Wednesday (pictured)

‘We can actually see across the airport but there’s hope that there’s finally movement after an hour and a half. But some poor blokes like me who didn’t sleep are starting to feel annoyed,’ Marc Ferri said. 

A Sydney Airport spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia the weather was ‘pretty intense’ and that the airport was likely to use just one runway for the rest of the day.

‘We’ve had winds of up to 70km/h, when this happens we go down to a single runway,’ she said.

‘Passengers should check with airlines before coming to the airport, but due to the weather there will be delays and cancellations.’

‘It’s bull***t but what can you do. It’s something we can’t control at the end of the day. They can’t control it, i’ll deal with it,’ passenger Cassandra Marie Prothero said.

Operations at the airport have closed briefly due to lightning striking close to where planes are taking off and landing, Nine News reported. 

The airport has been using one runway since 7am as gales reach 70km/h. 

‘Due to adverse weather conditions today, we expect that International and Domestic terminals will experience some flight delays and cancellations. Please contact your airline for more information,’ a spokesperson for the airport tweeted on Wednesday.  

Roads leading in and out of the city were already beginning to flood at 6am

More than 70mm of rain has already fallen in some parts of Sydney, and 12 flood rescues have been carried out by the SES, spokesman Greg Murphy said.

‘We are expecting more today. It is going to be a very, very wild day,’ he told the Today Show. 

The SES has warned that intense bursts of rain could continue to hit throughout the day and into this evening. 

Mr Murphy warned drivers not to attempt to plough through flooded roads.

‘We have said it over and over… they think they know the place and roads and the don’t and they get themselves in huge trouble and that adds to the problem,’ he said. 

‘It’s a great day to work from home – if that’s suitable,’ NSW State Emergency Service Assistant Commissioner Scott Hanckel said. 

Roads leading in and out of the city were already beginning to flood at 6am, and streets in Roseville, Pennant Hills, Ultimo and Macquarie Park have all been closed.

The Anzac Bridge connecting the inner-west with the city was closed due to flooding, but some lanes have now reopened, with traffic remaining heavy. 

Heavy traffic is building on the Western Distributor near Pyrmont due to a car breaking down, while a driver had to be rescued from a flooded car in Ultimo. 

All light rail trains have been cancelled due to the weather, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Services were earlier suspended between Central and Convention stations due to flooding, while services in both directions between Sydnenham and Campsie have been halted.

Buses are being used to replace the cancelled train services.

The rain burst through the roof of Town Hall station, stranding commuters who were left trying to navigate water inside the area.

Some had taken their shoes off and were attempting to move across the water in their bare feet. 

The water has flooded roads across the city, including in the west of Sydney (pictured)

The water has flooded roads across the city, including in the west of Sydney (pictured)

Woolworths supermarket at Town Hall has been closed, as water was seen pouring out of the walls of the building earlier in the morning.

The power is out at Strathfield station, causing chaos as travellers are left in the dark and unable to use ticket gates, which have stopped working.

More than 8100 homes and businesses are without electricity due to the storm, an Ausgrid spokesman told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Customers in parts of the Sydney CBD, North Ryde, St Ives, North Turramurra, Marsfield and Blue Haven on the NSW Central Coast have all been affected.  

Ferries on the Parramatta River have been cancelled due to overflowing at the weir, with buses being used to replace commuters travelling between Rydalmere and Parramatta. 

All other ferry services are still in operation but are experiencing delays, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. 

Commuters took to social media to share videos of the big wet.

‘My girlfriend is currently trying to swim to work,’ one person posted alongside a video of flooded streets in Glebe.

NSW Police chief inspector Phillip Brooks said driving conditions could be too dangerous for motorists on Wednesday morning

Schools have been forced to close due to the conditions, with Georges River Grammar in the city’s south-west shutting on Wednesday ‘for the safety of all staff and students’.

‘We urge you not to go on the roads today,’ a school spokesperson posted on Facebook. 

‘Please stay home and stay safe.’ 

A landslide and flooding have caused delays for traffic travelling on the Great Western Highway in the Blue Mountains. 

Buses have been delayed by more than an hour across Sydney with major waiting times in Chatswood, Neutral Bay, Mosman, Homebush, Strathfield, Drummoyne, Rozelle, Randwick, Kensington, Alexandria, Beaconsfield, Zetland and Macquarie Park.

Bus services in the CBD are being delayed by up to 45 minutes. 

NSW Police chief inspector Phillip Brooks said driving conditions could be too dangerous for motorists on Wednesday morning. 

‘We’re asking all road users to perhaps reconsider the need to be on the road through what will be a severe rain event,’ he said.

‘Drivers, riders, cyclists and pedestrians need to make sure they are safe on our roads.’ 

Mr Hanckel stressed drivers not drive into flood waters with that being the overwhelming major cause of flood deaths. 

Mr Hanckel stressed drivers not drive into flood waters - with that being the overwhelming major cause of flood deaths

Mr Hanckel stressed drivers not drive into flood waters – with that being the overwhelming major cause of flood deaths

Salvation Army worker Julie told news.com.au she was trapped in floods while trying to park her car as the water suddenly rose by a metre. 

NSW Police have urged drivers to pay attention while trying to move in the storm.

‘The conditions we are experiencing today are some of the worst I’ve ever seen, and I am appealing to everyone, motorists and pedestrians alike, to take care,’ assistant commissioner Michael Corboy said.

‘Once again we are asking all road users to reconsider the need to be on the roads throughout what will be a severe rain event today.

‘Drivers need to consider reducing their speed to make sure they have enough braking distance for themselves and for the vehicle in front, and to drive to the conditions.

‘We can’t stress enough that motorists should never attempt to drive through floodwaters or cross flooded causeways

BOM spokesman Simon Louis said the a narrow band over Sydney and Wollongong 'will get the heaviest stuff' as the rain falls on Wednesday, with 'pretty intense falls' expected

BOM spokesman Simon Louis said the a narrow band over Sydney and Wollongong ‘will get the heaviest stuff’ as the rain falls on Wednesday, with ‘pretty intense falls’ expected

‘Today’s weather will be particularly dangerous for motorcycle riders and cyclists and if they are on the road, they should wear bright-coloured clothing, be seen by other vehicles and share roads safely.

‘There’s also the real potential for NSW Police, Ambulance, Fire and Rescue, SES, RFS and the VRA to be roadside with their red and blue lights flashing, so if you see emergency services on scene, drop down to 40km an hour on both sides of the road and pass them safely.’ 

The Bureau of Meteorology had issued a series of severe weather warnings throughout Tuesday – including one for flooding along the major rivers around the harbour city – but upped the ante last night.

In NSW, up to 100 millimetres could fall across Sydney, the Hunter and Illawarra, the Bureau of Meteorology said while some places are expected to receive a 200mm drenching which is more than double the 84mm mean November rainfall for the city.

BOM spokesman Simon Louis said the a narrow band over Sydney and Wollongong ‘will get the heaviest stuff’ as the rain comes down on Wednesday, with ‘pretty intense falls’ expected.

‘If you’re in an area where you’re getting those intense falls, it’ll probably be enough to cause water over roads, potentially during the commute periods, and rapid rises in creeks and stormwater drains,’ he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

The heavy rain caused a driver in Wollongong to crash their car into a wall, before it burst into flames. No one was injured in the crash, Nine News reported.

About 3000 SES volunteers are helping with rescue callouts across Sydney on Wednesday. 

The heavy rain isn’t expected to ease until early Wednesday evening, but damaging winds could hang around until Thursday. 

In NSW, up to 100 millimetres could fall across Sydney, the Hunter and Illawarra, the Bureau of Meteorology said while some places are expected to receive a 200mm drenching

In NSW, up to 100 millimetres could fall across Sydney, the Hunter and Illawarra, the Bureau of Meteorology said while some places are expected to receive a 200mm drenching



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