READERS' PHOTOS: Thunderstorm lashes Illawarra

A wild storm wreaked havoc in the Illawarra, the Southern Highlands and Bargo on Thursday night.

The SES were called out to 20 jobs across the region, including a flood rescue in Wollongong.

Emergency crews also removed several cars trapped on Springhill Road.

As many as 150 cars were reportedly banked up to the west and east of the Cringila Road turn-off

The road was cut off by flash flooding, forcing crews to remove the cars at risk of being washed away.

SES volunteers were also at Bargo assisting with the clean up.

Residents said lightning had been striking from all directions.

"We've been here 11 years and I don't think I've seen anything like it," Bargo Motor Inn owner Jeanette Briggs said.

She said a friend had been dining at the Bargo pub when an awning, about 30 metres long, blew off the roof and onto the nearby railway line.

"Lucky nobody was killed," she said..

A small gas main was also damaged when a large tree was struck by lightning, a spokesman for the Jemena gas company said.

Local firefighters switched off the gas and supply was not affected.

The Southern Highlands rail line between Picton and Moss Vale was partially closed for several hours, due to a fallen power pole and debris on the tracks. 

It re-opened on Friday morning.

Meantime, the flooding also partially stopped trains on the South Coast line on Friday morning.

Buses continue to replace trains between Wollongong and Port Kembla.

The Bureau of Meteorology said the storms were part of a southerly change coming through the region and moving to the north-east.

"The line of storms extends all the way back into the hills in the back of Sydney," senior forecaster Jane Golding said.

"[There is] a lot of lightning and some very heavy rainfall," she said.

Ms Golding said the area just west of Wollongong received 100 millimetres of rain over just one hour.

-AAP & smh.com.au

Looking over Lake Illawarra. PICTURE: reader Adam Sewell, Flash At You Imaging

Looking over Lake Illawarra. PICTURE: reader Adam Sewell, Flash At You Imaging

Looking over Lake Illawarra. PICTURE: reader Adam Sewell, Flash At You Imaging

Looking over Lake Illawarra. PICTURE: reader Adam Sewell, Flash At You Imaging

Submitted by reader Daniel Hajduk

Submitted by reader Daniel Hajduk

Bargo: Storm blows the back part of the Bargo Pub roof onto the main southern railway. PICTURE: Courtesy of NSW SES

Bargo: Storm blows the back part of the Bargo Pub roof onto the main southern railway. PICTURE: Courtesy of NSW SES

The roof of the Bargo Pub, blown off in the wild weather. PICTURE: Darren Powell

The roof of the Bargo Pub, blown off in the wild weather. PICTURE: Darren Powell

The roof of the Bargo Pub, blown off in the wild weather. PICTURE: Darren Powell

The roof of the Bargo Pub, blown off in the wild weather. PICTURE: Darren Powell

Lightning strike at Barrack Point. Submitted by reader Jenny Smith.

Lightning strike at Barrack Point. Submitted by reader Jenny Smith.

Lightning over Wollongong. PICTURE: submitted by reader Ian Black

Lightning over Wollongong. PICTURE: submitted by reader Ian Black

Lightning over Wollongong. Picture: Ian Black

Lightning over Wollongong. Picture: Ian Black

Lightning seen from Oak Flats. PICTURE: submitted by reader Darren Malone

Lightning seen from Oak Flats. PICTURE: submitted by reader Darren Malone

Lightning seen from Port Kembla. PICTURE: submitted by reader Jake Gonzalez

Lightning seen from Port Kembla. PICTURE: submitted by reader Jake Gonzalez

Bolts light up the Dapto sky. PICTURE: submitted by reader Alison Davies

Bolts light up the Dapto sky. PICTURE: submitted by reader Alison Davies

Build up to the storm in Oak Flats. PICTURE: submitted by reader Scott G Davey

Build up to the storm in Oak Flats. PICTURE: submitted by reader Scott G Davey

Storm rolling over Horsley. PICTURE: submitted by reader Carolyn Hitchcock

Storm rolling over Horsley. PICTURE: submitted by reader Carolyn Hitchcock

The storm over Woonona Point. PICTURE: David Metcalf (Illawarra Stormchasers, DJM Photography).

The storm over Woonona Point. PICTURE: David Metcalf (Illawarra Stormchasers, DJM Photography).

The storm over Woonona Point. PICTURE: David Metcalf (Illawarra Stormchasers, DJM Photography).

The storm over Woonona Point. PICTURE: David Metcalf (Illawarra Stormchasers, DJM Photography).

The storm from Albion Park Rail. Submitted by reader Trish Fleuren.

The storm from Albion Park Rail. Submitted by reader Trish Fleuren.