Wild winds expected for Illawarra and South Coast

Ashleigh Morton at Flagstaff Hill Wollongong during a windy day. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER

Ashleigh Morton at Flagstaff Hill Wollongong during a windy day. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER

A severe weather warning has been issued for the Illawarra and South Coast, with winds of up to 100km/h expected to batter the region on Friday.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued the warning for strong winds and powerful surf conditions through the day.

“Gale-force, damaging winds averaging 55 to 65 km/h with peak gusts of 90 to 100 km/h are forecast,” the warning reads.

“Gales may extend to coastal parts of the Sydney Metropolitan, Hunter and Mid North Coast late today or this evening.”

“Large and powerful surf conditions are expected to develop along much of the NSW coast during the day, hazardous for coastal activities such as rock fishing, swimming and surfing.”

Ashley Sullivan of the State Emergency Service said no calls for assistance were received in the Illawarra after heavy winds on Thursday evening, but said the service was expecting callouts on Friday.

“We’re urging people to prepare their property early, and tie down loose items,” Mr Sullivan said.

“Flying projectiles are quite dangerous. Also be cautious of where you park your car, don’t park under trees in high wind.”

Mr Sullivan said Illawarra residents should tie down outdoor furniture, as well as trampolines. He said there had been a recent spike in incidents where trampolines had landed on roofs, streets or other backyards after being picked up by strong winds.

“The winds are supposed to be around most of today. We are expecting it to pick from around lunch and stay into the night,” Mr Sullivan said.

The Bureau of Meteorology has also issued warnings for farmers in the Illawarra, South Coast and across the state, advising “cold, strong and gusty southwest winds” may cause “a high risk of losses of lambs and sheep exposed to these conditions.”

For assistance in winds, call the SES on 132 500.

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