Power provider Ausgrid has warned Sydneysiders that they could be without electricity for an “extended” period of time following Tuesday’s severe storm.
At least 29,000 customers are without power after the five-minute storm wreaked havoc across the east coast of New South Wales, causing tree branches and power lines to collapse onto people’s homes.
“Our crews have safely restored power to 23,000 customers following yesterday’s storms. Power is still out to 29,000 mostly in Sydney’s north,” Ausgrid said in a statement on Wednesday morning.
“Customers in the worst hit areas are being advised to prepare for another possible night without power.”
On Wednesday evening the company provided customers with an update, saying “make alternative arrangements now as power won’t be back in time for dinner”.
NSW SES services were bombarded with more than 1,300 job requests on Tuesday as a result of the damaging winds and large hail that struck Sydney, Illawarra and Northern NSW.
The lightning as a result of the thunderstorms increased the number of fires blazing across the state.
The Bureau of Meteorology said winds of 104km/h at Fort Denison, 96km/h at Holsworthy and 95km/h at Sydney Harbour were experienced with the storms.
Transport services also experienced delays on Tuesday afternoon and early evening as a result of the weather.
NSW SES has advised residents to follow a few steps in order to help prevent damage to their homes with more storms forecast this weekend.
These include securing down backyard items that can blow around in the wind, getting trees and branches that overhang homes to be trimmed down, and cleaning out gutters to prevent blockages and water overflowing onto the roof.
Australians have been praying for rain as the country’s worst bushfire season continues, but many say they weren’t hoping for a gusty downpour “like this”.
Blazes so far this month have killed at least four people, burnt about 2.5 million acres of farmland and bush and destroyed more than 400 homes.
The early arrival and severity of the fires in the southern hemisphere spring follows three years of drought, which has left bushland tinder-dry and been linked by experts to climate change.
Firefighters have followed the crisis across four states as extreme temperatures and high winds sparked wildfires in new areas, even as they struggle contain existing fires.
With additional reporting by Colin Packham (Reuters).