NSW Storms: Residents Wake To Widespread Damage After 'Catastrophic' Storm
The damage is expected to cost millions after extreme storms and huge hail stones battered NSW.
Residents in parts of the state are waking to inspect the damage of the 'catastrophic' storm that saw cricket-ball-sized hailstones batter cars, tear roofs off homes and damage skylights.
Multiple storm fronts from the Hunter Valley, Wollongong and Sydney collided on Thursday, prompting a severe weather warning from the Bureau of Meteorology.
The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has declared storm catastrophic. In total, 25,500 homed had their power interrupted on Thursday evening, but just 13,200 of those houses or businesses have had their power resorted.
Significant power outages are expected to continue throughout the day on Friday. The main areas currently without power include Hawkesbury, Lithgow, Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains.
More that 260 electrical hazards have been reported, largely due to storm winds and lightning tearing trees down onto powerlines.
"The worst hit areas are in the north suburbs and central coast areas of Sydney," NSW SES Assistant Commissioner Scott Hanckel told Sky News.
He said Berowra Heights, Hornsby and Liverpool were among the suburbs worst hit and that the SES has received more than 1,800 calls for helps since the storm began.
"There was a very large line of storms that went right out to Lithgow ... so it is a very broad area we are dealing with this morning," Hanckel said.
Hanckel confirmed that there was eight-centimetre hail in some areas and that winds rose to 140 km/h. On Friday morning, over 700 SES volunteers, supported by the Rural Fire Service and the Fire Bridge started the cleanup effort around the state.
"To put this into perspective, this is about 7,000 jobs that we need to deal with," Hanckle said.
"There are significant power outages again today for ... parts of NSW."
Extensive damage to cars and houses occurred when the huge rocks of ice flew out of the sky. Motorists in Sydney's inner west pulled off roads and into service stations to avoid the storm.
Late-night shoppers were forced to abandon their quest to conclude their Christmas shopping, with large groups of people in Sydney's Pitt Street Mall gathering under awnings to avoid the stones according to one witness.
READ MORE: Hockey-Ball-Size Hailstones Smash Sydney
Suburban streets all over Sydney were flooded by rain from the unrelenting deluge and there were extensive delays on the Eastern Suburbs and South Coast Train Lines as emergency track repairs took place.
The full scope of the damage is yet to be determined, however, SBS News reports it could cost up to $20 million.
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