Tree down on Macquarie Pass as strong winds wreak havoc

A fallen tree is affecting traffic in both directions on the Illawarra Highway at Macquarie Pass. 

The tree fell onto the road about 4km west of Mount Murray Road, at the top of the pass, just after 9.30am on Sunday.

State Emergency Services (SES) crews are responding to assist with the clean up.

Elsewhere, Illawarra SES crews have been called to a number of wind-related calls for help on Saturday night and Sunday morning.

The Wollongong City SES unit has received more than 10 calls for assistance, mostly for trees or branches down or threatening further damage.

A severe weather warning for damaging winds is current for the South Coast and inland parts of the Illawarra on Sunday morning, with peak wind gusts in some areas expected to exceed 90km/h.

Vigorous west to northwesterly winds are being generated by a series of low pressure troughs linked with a low south of Tasmania that is moving slowly east.

Damaging winds, averaging 60 to 70km/h with peak gusts in excess of 90 km/h, are expected over the southeast of NSW.

In areas above 1900m, damaging winds averaging 80 to 90km/h, with peak gusts in excess of 120km/h, are expected.

Locations which may be affected include Nowra, Bowral, High Range, Batemans Bay, Eden, Braidwood, Bega, Moruya Heads, Katoomba, Goulburn, Cooma, Bombala, Thredbo, Perisher Valley, Cabramurra, Mt Ginini and Nimmitabel.

A west-northwesterly wind gust of 83km/h was recorded in Nowra at 9.17am on Sunday. In the Southern Highlands, Moss Vale was hit by a westerly wind gust of 91km/h at 7.48am.

Although not in the immediate warning area, a west-northwesterly wind gust of 70km/h was recorded at Albion Park at 9.52am on Sunday. A 61km/h gust was registered at the Bellambi weather station just before 9.30am.

Winds are expected to ease later on Sunday afternoon.

Anyone who needs emergency assistance as a result of wind damage should call the SES on 132 500.

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