Wind wreaks havoc as gusts of more than 90km/h hit the Illawarra

Latest updates:

4.13pm:  As of 4pm, Illawarra SES crews had responded to 162 calls for help, most of which were for fallen trees or damaged roofs.

Wollongong was the worst-hit suburb, with the SES receiving 81 calls.

4pm:

3.46pm: A few tips from the State Emergency Service to keep in mind.

  •  Move vehicles under cover or away from trees. 
  • Secure or put away loose items around your house, yard and balcony. 
  • Keep at least 8 metres away from fallen power lines or objects that may be energised, such as fences. 
  • Report fallen power lines to either Ausgrid on 131 388, or Endeavour Energy on 131 003 or Essential Energy on 132 080, as shown on your power bill. 
  • For emergency help in floods and storms, ring your local SES Unit on 132 500. 

3.37pm: Here’s the latest from the Bureau of Meteorology

“Damaging winds, averaging 60 to 70km/h with peak gusts in excess of 90km/h are likely over south eastern and central eastern parts of NSW today, including the Sydney Metropolitan Area, Blue Mountains, Illawarra, South Coast and southern ranges.

“Winds are expected to ease in most areas Friday night, though vigorous winds will persist along the coastal fringe on Saturday.”

3.27pm:

2.55pm: A little bit of good news – TrainLink NSW isn’t reporting any delays on the South Coast line due to the strong winds.

2.50pm: Before you head into Wollongong Mall over the weekend and wonder why they’ve cut down the trees, here’s the reason.

2.35pm: Endeavour Energy is reporting a large number of homes have had power restored.

At this stage, there are 429 homes in Albion Park without power, 86 in Corrimal, 75 in Kangaroo Valley, 61 in Upper Kangaroo Valley, 50 in Lake Heights and 37 in Berry.

1.52pm: On windy days like today, we can stay indoors. So spare a thought or two for the animals at Symbio.

1.49pm: Wow, that’s some strong winds.

1.36pm: The power outages continue – there are 1243 premises without power in the Corrimal area.

1.20pm: Wollongong City SES has posted this picture of the building that lost its roof along Crown Street this morning.

12.30pm: The power is back on at Figtree Grove, so people can get back to shopping.

12.14pm:  Figtree Grove is reportedly without power as the electricity grid has failed in that area.

The traffic lights at intersection of the Princes Highway and The Avenue at Figtree are also out.

There is a reported power outage in Figtree which has led to traffic lights blacedgoing out on the Princes Highway.

12.10pm: Endeavour Energy is working to restore power to almost 6000 premises.

The vast majority of affected customers are in the Illawarra in parts of Berkeley, Gerringong, Albion Park, Figtree, Warrawong and Cringila.

A spokeswoman said more interruption of power supply to customers was expected as the strong winds are expected to continue until early this evening.

11.50am: The road closure along Crown Street between Denison Street and Wollongong Hospital will remain in place until the winds die down.

Fire crews have tied down the roof of the two-storey building owned by well-known Wollongong obstetrician Dr John Walton  but do not want to try and move it while the area is being lashed by high winds.

Paul Bottele manages the building for the Waltons.

”It’s a miracle no one was hurt,” Mr Bottele said.

“That’s what we were most concerned about.”

He said workers in the building at the time heard the roof being torn away by the winds.

He said he understood the top floor ceiling has also collapsed.

“Thank God it landed where it did,” Mr Bottele said.

“It could have hit cars or people at the bus stop.”

11.30am: Around 3000 premises are without power in the Illawarra.

Endeavour Energy said 1950 premises in the Cringila, Berkeley and Warrawong area have seen their power cut off since 10.30am.

Around 1050 homes in Gerringong also have no power.

Endeavour Energy crews are at both locations.

Emergency services are being kept busy this morning, responding to multiple jobs across the region.

At 385 Crown Street the tin roof of a building has come off.

The roof is 30 metres by 20 metres and is partially covering the road.

Police are diverting traffic into New Dapto Road, and the affected building, as well as the neighbouring medical centre which has been covered by the roof is being evacuated. 

Paramedics say all people have been accounted for and have been moved to a safe location.

Crown Street has been closed between Denison Street and the hospital.

SES, Fire and Rescue, paramedics and police are on location, as severe westerly winds are not letting up.

Weatherzone is reporting that today will be the windiest day of the year for much of the coast and ranges of New South Wales with potential to be the windiest day in more than two years in parts, including Sydney.

A gust of 98km/h was measured at Bellambi Point at 9.30am.

Also on Crown Street, a car port roof has lifted off its footings and fallen onto two cars underneath.

Earlier:

Fire and paramedics responded to a pallet fire at Keira and Swan Street about 10.30am.

Powerpoles were reported to be down on Corrimal Street, and the sign at Dominos Pizza, on the corner of Smith and Keira Street has blown off.

On Springhill Road, at Keira Street, a car was struck by a falling tree at about 10am which has damaged the wind screen and ripped off the roof racks.

Paramedics reported that all occupants are out of the vehicle and there are no apparent injuries.

Earlier, in Dapto, a woman in her 30s was assessed for an electrocution by downed power lines.

Paramedics were called to Emerson Street about 9.15am to reports of a car into a pole, which downed the lines.

The woman was not transported to hospital.

Firefighters are also checking in on last night’s fire at Yallah, where pallets are still smouldering.

And earlier this morning, fallen wires closed two lanes of traffic at Warilla.

Friday 9am: A wind gust of 93km/h has been recorded at Bellambi on Friday morning, as vigorous winds move over the Illawarra.

A severe weather warning for damaging winds, issued on Thursday night, remains current for the region, as well as the South Coast.

The Bureau of Meteorology says vigorous westerly winds, associated with a low pressure system over the southern Tasman Sea, are moving over south eastern and central eastern parts of NSW on Friday.

Winds will turn southerly on Saturday and remain gusty along the coast as the low moves further east.

Damaging winds, averaging 60 to 70km/h with peak gusts in excess of 90 km/h, are likely over south eastern and central eastern parts of NSW on Friday, including the Sydney metropolitan area, Blue Mountains, Illawarra, South Coast and southern ranges.

A wind gust of 93km/h was recorded at Bellambi at 8.36am on Friday, while an 89km/h gust was felt in Kiama at 8.27am.

Winds are expected to ease for most areas by Saturday, though vigorous winds will persist along the coastal fringe until Saturday night, the bureau said.

Thursday 10pm: The Bureau of Meteorology has updated its severe weather warning, as a vigorous westerly airflow moves over southeastern parts of NSW on Thursday night.

The airflow is expected to extend to central eastern parts on Friday morning.

Damaging winds, averaging 60 to 70km/h with peak gusts in excess of 90 km/h, are likely over parts of the Illawarra and southern and central ranges on Thursday night.

The damaging winds are then likely to extend to the South Coast, Sydney metropolitan area and parts of the Hunter and Mid North Coast after sunrise on Friday.

Winds are expected to ease for most areas by Saturday, though vigorous winds will persist along the coastal fringe until Saturday night, the bureau said.

8.30pm: A severe weather warning for damaging winds, gusting to more than 90km/h, has been issued for the Illawarra and parts of the South Coast.

The Bureau of Meteorology says vigorous westerly winds associated with a system over the Southern Ocean will affect parts of southeastern NSW for the next couple of days. 

Damaging winds, averaging 60 to 70km/h with peak gusts in excess of 90km/h, are likely over higher parts of the southern ranges, the Illawarra and the Goulburn area on Thursday night and Friday.

A northwesterly wind gust of 74km/h was felt at Bellambi just after 6pm. Earlier on Thursday, a 78km/h gust was recorded at Albion Park about 4pm.

Winds are expected to expected to ease by Sunday as a high pressure system moves over the area.

The severe weather warning was one of many current for the Illawarra on Thursday night.

A dangerous surf warning has been issued for the Illawarra coast on Friday, coupled with a gale wind warning for Illawarra coastal waters.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop