News, Culture & Society

Three people die as ‘once-in-a-century thunderstorm’ lashes Sydney

The ‘once in every 100 years’ superstorm that battered Sydney on Wednesday has claimed the lives of three people – and more wild weather is set to lash the city today.

There is no respite in sight for the city as more downpours and wild winds lash Sydney on Thursday morning, but they are expected to clear by Friday.

Sydney was smashed by its worst November storm in 44 years and the heaviest rain in three years, forcing the cancellation of more than 130 flights due to only one runway being open at the airport, and caused chaos for commuters as roads were flooded and trains were delayed. 

Three people died during Wednesday’s devastating storm, including a 14-year-old boy involved in a horrific two-car collision in North Ryde in the morning, a State Emergency Services volunteer who collapsed while trying to help with the clean up and a male driver who crashed into a pole in South Wentworthville in the evening.

 

The ‘once in every 100 years’ superstorm that battered Sydney on Wednesday has claimed the lives of three people – and more wild weather is set to lash the city today 

There is no respite in sight for the city as more downpours and wild winds lash Sydney on Thursday morning, but they are expected to clear by Friday 

There is no respite in sight for the city as more downpours and wild winds lash Sydney on Thursday morning, but they are expected to clear by Friday 

Commuter chaos: The worst November storm in 44 years forced the cancellation of more than 130 flights

Commuter chaos: The worst November storm in 44 years forced the cancellation of more than 130 flights

The storm caused chaos for commuters as roads flooded and train services were cancelled

The storm caused chaos for commuters as roads flooded and train services were cancelled

Showers fell on the city on Thursday morning and gale-force winds were predicted to whip coastal areas later in the day.

Sky News meteorologist Tristan Meyers said the low-pressure system would be heading east toward the Tasman Sea.

‘In its wake, what we have is showers which are moderate to heavy at times with sunny breaks coming through in between,’ he told news.com.au.

‘As we go into the afternoon and evening, we see those showers becoming less and less frequent and it should be clearing by Friday.’ 

Sign of the times: The storm caused chaos across Sydney on Wednesday, commuters captured the aftermath, which included fallen signs

Sign of the times: The storm caused chaos across Sydney on Wednesday, commuters captured the aftermath, which included fallen signs

Sydney commuters spent hours battling it out for a spot on a train as delays caused further chaos

Sydney commuters spent hours battling it out for a spot on a train as delays caused further chaos

A New South Wales State Emergency Service volunteer was the second person to die during the storms on Wednesday after suffering a heart attack.

The man in his 40s died while on duty assisting with the Sydney storm emergency and clean-up, The Daily Telegraph reported.

The volunteer collapsed while on duty and police are preparing a report for the coroner, a statement from NSW SES Commissioner Mark Smethurst said. 

A 14-year-old was killed in a two-car crash in Thornleigh in the city’s north earlier in the day.

A police spokesman said the boy was a passenger in the vehicle and died at the scene after the 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,’ a police spokesperson said in a statement. 

About 7pm on Wednesday, a male driver died when his car smashed into a pole on Old Prospect Road at South Wentworthville in Sydney’s west.

'It’s the hunger games on Sydney trains once again,' one social media users said. With the work day ending, commuters are struggling to get home fast

‘It’s the hunger games on Sydney trains once again,’ one social media users said. With the work day ending, commuters are struggling to get home fast

Umbrella graveyard: Wild winds paired with heavy rain saw many people ditch their umbrellas. This bin was full to the brim with many mangled brollies

Umbrella graveyard: Wild winds paired with heavy rain saw many people ditch their umbrellas. This bin was full to the brim with many mangled brollies

Get your wellies ready: This creek overflowed, flooding the picnic area and the surrounding greenery

Get your wellies ready: This creek overflowed, flooding the picnic area and the surrounding greenery

Friendly felines: The weather wreaked havoc across Sydney, and it wasn't just people who felt the brunt of the storm. This cat felt she needed to protect her kitten 

Friendly felines: The weather wreaked havoc across Sydney, and it wasn’t just people who felt the brunt of the storm. This cat felt she needed to protect her kitten 

Parts of the city received almost two months' worth of rainfall since 5.30am in what is being described as a 'once in every 100 years' event

Parts of the city received almost two months’ worth of rainfall since 5.30am in what is being described as a ‘once in every 100 years’ event

Parts of the city received almost two months’ worth of rainfall – or 120mm – after 5.30am on Wednesday in what was described as a ‘once in every 100 years’ event. 

The Bureau of Meteorology’s NSW manager Ann Farrell said the rainfall recorded at Observatory Hill – reaching the monthly average for November of 84.6mm before 5.20am and 7am – was the most measured at the site since 1984. 

‘According to our estimates, for that intensity and that duration, that’s the sort of rainfall you’d expect to occur about once every 100 years for that particular site,’ she told the Sydney Morning Herald.

The Bureau said Sydney recorded 105.6mm in 24 hours and Macquarie Pass in the Illawarra recorded 122mm to 9am. 

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

A blank screen is never good. Commuter chaos has begun, with one person calling the train lines a 'shambles' with many delays reported

A blank screen is never good. Commuter chaos has begun, with one person calling the train lines a ‘shambles’ with many delays reported

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

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

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

Flash flooding has hit many suburbs and police have told motorists to avoid driving where possible

Flash flooding has hit many suburbs and police have told motorists to avoid driving where possible

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

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

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

Commuters were warned to stay inside as the dumping of rain coincided 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 (pictured) on Wednesday

Passengers were subjected to delays and cancellations at Sydney Airport (pictured) 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

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

Intense rain affected train services across the city, with some stations suffering flooding

Intense rain affected train services across the city, with some stations suffering flooding

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 (pictured) as a warm-up game involving the Indian national team was cancelled

Covers were brought out at the Sydney Cricket Ground (pictured) 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

On Wednesday, two police officers were injured by a falling tree which struck their car as they attempted to save driver Zac Morris in North Ryde at about 6.50am. 

A female constable suffered a broken leg, while a male senior constable received minor injuries and is being assessed for a possible concussion.

Mr Morris said he managed to escape through the window of the police vehicle.

‘I literally heard the noise and the roof just sort of caved in,’ he told the Daily Telegraph.

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

The arduous task of cleaning up after the storm will continue on Thursday. 

NSW State Emergency Services responded to 1530 jobs on Wednesday and at 10pm had 200 outstanding, mostly related to the storm.

Teams were expected to work well into the evening with more expected to go out on Thursday morning to finish the jobs.

An SES spokeswoman advised people to still take care when travelling on roads, to keep well clear of power lines and trees and to continue to report incidents.  

‘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,’ SES’s Greg Murphy told Sydney’s 2GB radio. 

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 windows of an office building in Chatswood were blown out due to the intense winds.

Building manager Greg Transell said the experience was ‘quite scary ‘.  

‘It was amazing actually because you can see… how it’s tried to actually suck, it’s sucked some of the doors the reverse way out through the frames and actually dislodged the frames and all the rubber lining that holds the windows,’ he told the ABC. 

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

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)

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. 

‘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’.

‘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.’.

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

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

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

The Anzac Bridge connecting the inner-west with the city was closed due to flooding.  

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 was closed after water was seen pouring out of the walls of the building.

At 9pm on Wednesday, Ausgrid was still attempting to restore power to 3250 homes.

Crews were scheduled to work through the night to restore power and were expected to still be continuing repairs in areas including Mosman to install new power poles and restring wires.

Crews were also set to worked overnight in the CBD to repair two underground substations which flooded during Wednesday’s torrential rain.



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.