Albion Park took out top spot for the NSW suburb most affected by storm and hail damage over winter, and came in fifth for most impacted suburb in the state over the last year, according to insurance claims.
The last 12 months saw more than 1900 storm-related home claims lodged in the Illawarra just with NRMA Insurance alone, while the region was the worst hit in the state over winter with more than a quarter of all NRMA home claims from the area.
"We found that the top storm damage claims in the Illawarra ... included leaking roofs from heavy rain and water escaping into the home (via things like broken roof tiles or blocked gutters)," said Luke Gallagher, Executive General Manager of Direct Claims at NRMA.
The data has been released by the insurer's latest Wild Weather Tracker ahead of the start of the traditional storm season from October to March, when more than 80 per cent of storm-related home claims are made.
The report also found 72 per cent of those surveyed were worried natural disasters were becoming more frequent and severe, while 78 per cent believed climate change was making severe weather and natural disasters worse.
In late August, emergency services were kept busy with hundreds of calls for help from residents around Albion Park, Wollongong, Shellharbour and Kiama after an explosive low pressure system brought winds in excess of 130km/h, tearing apart homes - one resident losing the entire roof to their property.
Bureau of Meteorology forecaster David Wilke said the region was known for its unique wind storm activity and due to the "Illawarra down slope wind effect".
"We've certainly got a climatology of strong winds throughout the Illawarra," he said. "[The down slope affect] can have some pretty strong gusty winds that develop through the overnight period, especially in the early morning, I'd say that's quite unique to the Illawarra - at least in NSW."
The most impacted suburbs in Wollongong and the Illawarra region over the last 12 months were*:
- Albion Park (Also the 5th most impacted town or suburb in NSW, and most impacted in NSW during winter)
- Kiama Downs (Also 2nd most impacted town or suburb in NSW during winter)
- Shell Cove (Also 4th most impacted town or suburb in NSW during winter)
- Oak Flats
- Figtree & Helensburgh (equal)
*Souce: NRMA Insurance
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