Sydney weather: Thunderstorms move across NSW, thousands without power

| 10.01,18. 01:02 AM |

Sydney weather: Thunderstorms move across NSW, thousands without power

Photo: A severe storm rolled into Bondi Beach on Tuesday evening with witnesses describing it as "apocalyptic". (Supplied: Justin Nolan)

Thousands of households are without power along the New South Wales east coast as a severe storm passes over, but much of the state has been spared from damage so far.

More than 11,000 customers are without power in western Sydney and the Illawarra region and hundreds more have been disconnected on the Central Coast and in the Upper Hunter.

A severe thunderstorm warning for damaging winds and large hailstones is still in place for areas including Port Macquarie, Taree, Newcastle, Maitland, Tamworth and Gunnedah.

But State Emergency Service spokesman Phil Campbell says the state seems to have been spared any major damage from the storm.

"We've been quite fortunate in the Sydney metropolitan area with only about 70 calls for assistance to the NSW SES and most of those calls for assistance have been for relatively minor matters such as leaking roofs and trees and branches down," he said.

Dark storm clouds rolled into Sydney from the south before 7:00pm, with one Bondi resident describing the looming stormfront as "apocalyptic".

The storm came at a particularly bad time, with commuters still stranded on platforms as the city struggled to cope with a shortage of Sydney Trains staff.

Lightning, thunder and heavy rain affected parts of the city, but the storm does not seem to be in the mood to stop, passing through the city quickly.

However in south-western NSW, Kiama was hit with 120 kilometre per hour wind gusts.

Roads and businesses have been flooded in Cootamundra, including the town's Central Hotel, which also suffered roof damage.

The storm comes less than 24 hours after Sydney experienced one of its biggest storms in recent years.

The Global Position and Tracking Systems (GPATS) company said it detected approximately 13,000 lightning strikes across the state in the 24 hours to midday on Tuesday.

The company provides lightning data to the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), power, mining, aviation and insurance companies.

The data is detected by a network of sensors that can determine the strength and location of each lightning strike.

Spokesman Murray Chateris said the electrical storm over Sydney was "one of the biggest in recent years".


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