Australia

Man dies in Thredbo skiing accident as wild weather batters Australia’s south-east

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A severe weather warning for Sydney has been cancelled but eastern NSW will continue to be battered by vigorous winds and hazardous surf over the weekend.

A man has died while skiing at Thredbo, as authorities issue severe weather and strong wind warnings for NSW.

NSW Police Force said the 68-year-old South Australian man struck a low-hanging tree branch while skiing with friends about 10am. 

A report will now be prepared for the coroner. 

It comes as strong winds continue to lash parts of NSW, with the wild weather expect to hang around all weekend.

The Bureau of Meteorology on Saturday predicted wind gusts exceeding 90km/h for the Illawarra, high parts of the South Coast, the Central Tablelands, Southern Tablelands and the Snowy Mountains.

A severe weather warning for damaging winds was cancelled for Sydney, however, a strong wind warning remains in place for Sydney's coastal waterways. 

Hazardous surf is also predicted for the entire NSW coast except for the Byron region.

The westerly winds will be beneficial in one respect - providing a tailwind for about 75,000 runners and walkers participating in Sydney's City2Surf fun run on Sunday.

Jeremy Cameron of the Giants (centre) and team mates are seen as it snows during the Round 21 AFL match between the GWS Giants and the Hawthorn Hawks.

The bureau says the last of a series of cold fronts sweeping across the state will clear on early Monday.

Winds topped 113km/h on the South Coast's Montague Island on Friday while triple-digit gust speeds were also recorded at Kiama and Bellambi.

Should the strong winds pick up again, more delays and cancellations are likely at Sydney Airport, where more than 180 domestic flights were cancelled on Friday.

The damaging winds also ripped the roof off the Presbyterian Aged Care facility at Stockton, in Newcastle, on Friday morning forcing the evacuation of about 30 people.

Authorities have urged people to remain vigilant as conditions will remain poor on the roads.

The SES has received more than 900 requests for help since midnight Thursday, including 370 in the Sydney region.

Almost 200 new jobs have come in since midnight on Saturday, with most relating to fallen trees and branches, with some reporting roof damage.

Plenty of powder

A Thredbo spokesperson said there had been 15cm of snowfall on Friday night.

"Snowfalls overnight of 15cms took the #slamminSAM storm tally to 117cms with more in the forecast today and Sunday," she said.

"There was an early glimpse of sunshine and blue sky, with the weather starting to move in again.

"It is super cold,  -8 this morning with a wind-chill of -20, so lots of layers a must today.

"The snow quality is exceptional, thanks to low overnight and day temps.

Friday storms cause havoc

A woman has died after strong winds brought a large tree crashing down on her family car in Victoria’s Yarra Ranges.

Paramedics were called to the Black Spur on the Maroondah Highway on Friday morning, eventually freeing the male driver and two children before taking them to hospital.

A woman has died after a tree fell onto a car in Fernshaw this morning.
Police believe a vehicle was travelling along Maroondah Highway when a gum tree fell on the moving car just after 9.30am. → https://t.co/Q66SDHpeSO pic.twitter.com/SfCNPWqUHa

— Victoria Police (@VictoriaPolice) August 9, 2019

The female front-seat passenger received treatment but died at the scene.

Victoria's State Emergency Service says it received more than 600 calls for help across the state in just 24 hours as heavy winds and rain lashed communities.

Not a morning to ride to work! The bike path at Brighton battered by a storm surge and wind gusts up to 87 km/hr. Photo @windjunky - latest warnings https://t.co/mMvr0NqeCD pic.twitter.com/jFAm0KD2QR

— Bureau of Meteorology, Victoria (@BOM_Vic) August 8, 2019

The hazardous conditions proved too much for the pier at Frankston, rough seas claiming the tip of the structure which snapped off and floated away.

Part of Frankston Pier is lashed by water after it broke off during wild weather.

Parks Victoria is playing down the unusual spectacle, assuring locals the structure was already due for redevelopment.

South Australia has also felt the brunt of the treacherous weather with thousands of properties cut off from power.

Police were forced to pluck a woman from a flooded creek in the Adelaide Hills after she encountered trouble while checking on stock.

Officers discovered the woman as she clung to a tree after the conditions saw her spend about 40 minutes in the water.

Local SES teams say they’ve responded to more than 200 calls across South Australia with more expected on Friday night.

The dangerous conditions also saw more than 120 flights cancelled with elderly residents evacuated from an aged care home in New South Wales.

Weather conditions across south-eastern parts of Australia today may impact your flight. Please check the Qantas Flight Status page for any updates: https://t.co/6TZNOujdF9

— Qantas (@Qantas) August 9, 2019

About 30 people were forced out of their accommodation at the Presbyterian Aged Care facility at Stockton, in Newcastle, mid-Friday morning.

The decision to flee was made after the roof of the facility was torn off, landing in a nearby garden.

Damage caused by heavy winds at Stockton Nursing Home in Newcastle.

Gusts of more than 90km per hour were recorded around Wollongong with Thredbo blasted by winds up to 118km per hour.

Blizzard conditions are forecast for Alpine areas above 1500m.

The Bureau of Meteorology says the severe weather conditions were brought on by a strong cold front moving in from the southwest, followed by a cold southerly airstream that is expected to persist into Sunday.

- with additional reporting from AAP

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