Lightning Sparks Fire As Severe Thunderstorms Batter Sydney
A property in western Sydney has been badly damaged by fire as multiple severe thunderstorm cells wreak havoc across the city.
The garage of a home on the corner of Chetwynd Road and Wainwright Street in Guildford went up in flames, in an incident authorities believe may have been caused by a lightning strike to a nearby power pole.
NSW Police were called to the home just before 8pm on Thursday night, where fire crews were working to extinguish the blaze.
Witnesses on the scene said the fire appeared to be out at 8:30pm and there are no reports of any injuries.
10 daily understands there was damage to the home's garage and surrounding trees.
The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe weather warning for heavy rainfall, damaging winds and large hailstones across a broad swath of NSW on Thursday.
"The Bureau of Meteorology warns that, at 8:15 pm, severe thunderstorms were detected on the weather radar near Sutherland, Sydney City, Sydney Airport, Sydney Olympic Park, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Penrith and waters off Bondi Beach," BOM said in a statement.
About 21,000 homes and businesses in the Blue Mountains and western Sydney were left without power.
Sydneysiders on social media shared footage of the violent winds and heavy rain lashing their homes, with wind gusts of up to 107km/h recorded at Coonamble Airport.
A W-League match between Sydney FC and Adelaide experienced a weather delay just before 8pm at Cromer Park in Sydney's northern beaches.
The storms form part of what has been described as "the biggest weather event of the year" -- a so-called 'zombie storm' which is hitting the south parts of the country.
Cyclone Owen is back from the dead after forming in the Coral Sea last month when it dumped more than 300mm of rain on northern Queensland.
In Victoria, about 120 people were left stranded on a freeway as heavy rains sweeping across the state caused flooding.
People had to be relocated from a flooded Hume Freeway in the state's northeast, including 17 winched to safety by helicopter.
More than a month's worth of rain has fallen across parts of Victoria and the wild weather is expected to continue through Friday.