A powerful storm has left thousands without power in Sydney’s north as lightning caused a headache for travellers.
The broad but intense storm system plagued NSW, southeast Queensland and northern Victoria throughout Wednesday, with the stormy activity likely to continue through to Thursday.
Crews are now working through the night to restore power to 34,000 Sydneysiders who have been left in the dark across Hornsby, Wahroonga, Berowra and into the Hawkesbury.
“Crews are on site and will restore power as soon as it’s safe to do so,” Ausgrid told customers on social media.
Though the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has revoked a severe thunderstorm warning for NSW, meteorologist Jake Phillips urged residents to keep an eye on the situation.
“There’s quite a number of districts that have been significantly affected by storms which are producing smaller hail and also some decent little bursts of rain,” he said.
“We’re likely to see storms continue for a little while yet so we do ask people to keep an eye out on the website in case we do issue some more thunderstorm warnings.”
He also said thousands of lightning strikes have been associated with the storm.
“In the last hour for example, from through the Illawarra and Sydney right through the Central Tablelands and Central West, we’ve seen a high density of lighting,” he said.
The storm has caused issues and delays at Sydney’s Domestic Airport due to the lightning.
As many as 10 flights have been cancelled and dozens more delayed as the lightning moved through Sydney’s south.
Due to the wet weather, Sydney Trains are also warning commuters that they can expect delays on their route home.
⚠#NorthShoreLine & #WesternLine Allow extra travel time due to wet weather conditions and power supply issues at various locations earlier.
Trains may stop on platforms or between stations for longer than normal while the incident is ongoing.
Stops may change at short notice.
— T1 Sydney Trains (@T1SydneyTrains) August 30, 2023
“Three hours to get home from Sydney to Windsor. Train cancelled, two buses, and a 30 minute wait at Riverstone,” one commuter wrote on social media.
Mr Phillips said the majority of the rain and “major hail” fell in the state’s northeast earlier on Wednesday, however, the storms are currently plaguing Sydney and Central NSW.
Murwillumbah at the NSW Northern Rivers recorded some of the heaviest rainfall, with 38mm falling to 3pm.
— RIDE Media (@ridemediaHQ) August 30, 2023
While rainfall is expected on Thursday, the majority of storm activity will stay in northeastern NSW and southeast Queensland.
“It’s confined to the northeast and then after that we’re not expecting storms for a few days, things will cool off and ironically seeing as we’re entering spring officially on Friday, it’ll probably feel cooler on Friday than it has done for the last few days,” he said.
The storms are yet to impact public transport, however Sydney Trains are on alert as the storm progresses.
“We don’t currently have disruptions, but our teams are monitoring the network. We’ll send out updates should lines start becoming affected,” Sydney Trains wrote on social media.