Update 8.55pm: According to the Bureau of Meteorology, severe thunderstorms are no longer occurring in the metropolitan and Illawarra districts, and the severe weather warning for these districts is cancelled.
Hundreds of Illawarra customers are without power after a thunderstorm rolled across the region on Friday afternoon.
Endeavour Energy says 179 of its customers are without power at Albion Park, while a further 179 are in the dark at Woonona.
The NSW Transport Management Centre says a number of traffic lights are blacked out in both Albion Park due to power failures.
Traffic lights are also blacked out at the intersection of Church Street and Smith Street in Wollongong.
It’s understood Wollongong police station and Wollongong courthouse were hit by lightning as the wild weather rolled across the city.
The Bureau of Meteorology has warned more storms are on the way on Friday afternoon.
Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce damaging winds, large hailstones and heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding over the next several hours.
The bureau issued the warning about 3.24pm, about 15 minutes after a thunderstorm bringing multiple lightning strikes hit Wollongong’s CBD.
The storms dumped six millimetres at Bellambi in the 10 minutes to 3.40pm, while 9.2mm was recorded in the gauge at Albion Park in the 60 minutes to 3.30pm.
Locations included in severe storm warning include western Sydney, Wollongong, Nowra, Batemans Bay, Orange, Canberra, Goulburn, Cooma, Yass and Parkes.
The State Emergency Service advises that people should:
Move your car 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.
- Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.
- Don't walk, ride your bike or drive through flood water.
- If you are trapped by flash flooding, seek refuge in the highest available place and ring 000 if you need rescue.
- Unplug computers and appliances.
- Avoid using the phone during the storm.
- Stay indoors away from windows, and keep children and pets indoors as well.
- For emergency help in floods and storms, ring the SES (NSW and ACT) on 132 500.
The next warning is due to be issued by 6.25pm.