One in 100 year storm lashes Sydney
SYDNEY: Torrential rain and gale force winds lashed Australia’s biggest city of Sydney yesterday causing commuter chaos, flooding streets, railway stations and homes, grounding flights and leaving hundreds of people without electricity.
One person was killed in a car crash and two police officers seriously injured when a tree fell on them as they helped a stranded motorist.
Greg Transell, an office manager in Sydney’s north, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that strong winds caused widespread disruption to the tower block office where he works.
“I started to go upstairs to see if there was any damage and next minute there was an almighty bang and it ripped panels off the roof in the warehouse.”.
Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology aid within just a few hours Sydney got more than 100mm of rain, a level that the country’s most populous city would normally get through the whole of November.
“That’s the sort of rainfall you’d expect to see once every 100 years,” Ann Farrell, the bureau’s state manager, told reporters.
Sydney Airport, the country’s busiest, said 130 flights had been cancelled or delayed after it was forced to close two of its three runways.
“The storm is pretty intense in and around the airport,” Cait Kyann, an airport spokesman, told Reuters.
Ausgrid, the nation’s biggest electricity network, said the storm had cut power to 8,100 customers in Sydney and the Central Coast area to its north.
There was chaos on Sydney’s roads as the storm struck only hours before the main morning peak hour, transforming some streets into fast-flowing rivers and parks into lakes.
Several stranded motorists were plucked from rising floodwaters.
“We are asking all road users to reconsider the need to be on the roads throughout what will be a severe rain event,” a police official said. – Reuters