Drivers Trapped As Wild Weather Brings Down Trees In Sydney
Powerful storms smashed parts of Sydney on Monday afternoon, bringing down trees and powerlines onto buildings and cars and halting public transport across the city.
The storms hit Sydney's south and southwest at the start of the afternoon peak, with three drivers left trapped in their cars for around half an hour when a huge tree fell on them.
Emergency services were called to the scene Miranda in the city's south at 5:15 pm where they found three people trapped inside their cars.
Crews worked quickly to free the drivers with fears power lines had also fallen in the area.
A NSW Ambulance spokesperson told 10 daily all three had since been freed. One driver was assessed to determine whether they needed to be taken to hospital.
The storms caused traffic chaos in the area with multiple traffic lights out in Miranda, Gymea and Kirrawee due to a power outage.
Public transport was also brought to a standstill with parts of the Eastern Suburbs and Illawarra line closed due to severe weather.
Sydney Trains said there were partial closures between Sutherland and Cronulla on Monday afternoon due to debris on the track at Caringbah.
Major delays were also impacting other services after a tree branch damaged a train at Sutherland.
Up to 2200 homes and businesses were also left without power, Endeavour Energy said.
Properties in western Sydney, Macarthur, the southern highlands and the Illawarra remained without power after 7.30pm as emergency crews planned to work into the evening to make safe and repair damage from the storm.
Meanwhile, Sydneysiders have been sharing photos of the damage from the powerful storm, including large hailstones and fallen trees.
The Bureau of Meteorology warned that the redevelopment of severe thunderstorms into the evening was likely.
Earlier on Monday, two people were taken to hospital after they were struck by lightning in the Blue Mountains.
One of the patients, a 16-year-old, is believed to have been climbing a metal staircase when it was struck by lightning.
A second person was also injured when the railing they were holding was also struck by lightning, NSW Ambulance Inspector Greg Marshall said.
Both suffered electric shock injuries and slight burns from the impact of the lightning, which was transmitted via the metal they were holding onto.
"They weren't directly hit; it's hit the staircase and the metal railing," Marshall said, adding that both had since been transferred to hospital in a stable condition.
"They're very, very lucky. It's a very frightening experience for both of them."
An earlier severe thunderstorm warning for people in the Northern Rivers and parts of Mid North Coast, Hunter and Northern Tablelands Forecast Districts was cancelled just before 10pm on Monday night.
The Bureau said it would continue to monitor the situation in those areas throughout the evening.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services Troy Grant also warned commuters to be careful and avoid driving through flooded roads.
"Run-off from rainfall in fire-affected areas may behave differently and be more rapid resulting in flash flooding which may also contain debris such as ash, soil, trees and rocks," Elliott said.