SES: "Wild night" for the Illawarra

A NSW SES spokesman said the service was preparing ‘‘for a fairly wild night’’, as ex- tropical cyclone Oswald reaches the Illawarra.

The storm front is slowing down and is now expected later than previously predicted - arriving either late tonight or early on Tuesday, rather than from about 5pm this evening.

Neale Fraser, a meteorologist with the Bureau of Meteorology, said that was bad news for northern NSW as it means the storm will linger over the area, dumping more rain.

However, as the storm hits the Illawarra, it will speed up and head towards the sea. So the region will still get hit with heavy rains and strong winds but they will pass relatively quickly.

The predictions for the regions are between 100 and 150ml of rain and winds reaching speeds of up to 100km/h.

That’s why, despite the news that the storm will pass the region quicker than up north, NSW SES spokesman Phil Campbell said the service was gearing up with plenty of volunteers on standby.

‘‘It looks like it’s going to be a fairly wild night,’’ Mr Campbell said.

‘‘With the predicted 100km/h winds, once you get over 90 to 100km/h that causes quite a bit of property damage and brings down power lines.’’

Now you see him ......

Now you see him ......

Now you don't...a man at Wollongong Harbour films his mate being swamped by heavy surf. Pictures: ROBERT PEET

Now you don't...a man at Wollongong Harbour films his mate being swamped by heavy surf. Pictures: ROBERT PEET

Heavy waves pound the breakwall at Belmore Basin. Picture: ROBERT PEET

Heavy waves pound the breakwall at Belmore Basin. Picture: ROBERT PEET

Heavy waves pound the breakwall at Belmore Basin. Picture: ROBERT PEET

Heavy waves pound the breakwall at Belmore Basin. Picture: ROBERT PEET

It was a grey day in Wollongong as the region waits for the predicted storm to hit tonight. Picture: KEN ROBERTSON

It was a grey day in Wollongong as the region waits for the predicted storm to hit tonight. Picture: KEN ROBERTSON

It was a bleak view off the coast at Bulli this afternoon. Picture: KEN ROBERTSON

It was a bleak view off the coast at Bulli this afternoon. Picture: KEN ROBERTSON

Mr Campbell said the SES was expecting to rescue some people who are affected by flash-flooding, as areas of the Illawarra were flood-prone and water running down the escarpment can amplify the problem.