Premier Barry O’Farrell arrived in Kiama about midday to inspect damage caused by an intense, localised weather event that ripped roofs off several properties overnight Saturday.
It is believed a submission for State Government assistance has been made and was being assessed by the government this morning.
Greg Murphy, State Emergency Service’s Illawarra South Coast region coordinator, said there were 15 people immediately displaced by the storm and more homes would be deemed uninhabitable today due to disturbed asbestos and the scale of the damage.
‘‘Some houses that have suffered extensive damage will not be able to be provided with emergency coverings because they’re too damaged,’’ he said. ‘‘We’ll be assisting residents in making sure they’ve got some temporary housing, leading into some long-term housing if required.’’
Residents displaced by the storm would have been sent to the Kiama Leisure Centre - the planned evacuation centre - but the centre sustained more than a million dollars worth of damage, including to its asbestos roof.
Affected residents were instead sent to the Kiama State Emergency Service headquarters; all later took refuge with friends and family.
About 300 homes in the Illawarra, Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands remained without power overnight as a result of storms.
This included about 200 properties in Kiama, where Endeavour Energy emergency crews had difficulty gaining access because of asbestos-related issues.
There were another 60 customers without power overnight at Mittagong, Berrima and Robertson.
Yesterday crews restored power to about 48,000 customers in the Illawarra, South Coast, Southern Highlands and Greater Western Sydney regions.
The main cause of outages was large trees and branches coming into contact with cables and service wires.
The Illawarra Highway has reopened between Princes Highway and Tongarra Road in Albion Park Rail following flooding over the weekend.
There are no delays for motorists in the area.