Australia

More than 55,000 still without power after shocking NSW storms

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The clean-up is on after storms across Sydney and NSW coast knocked out power to more than 55,000 and led to more than 4000 jobs for the SES.

More than 55,000 properties in Sydney and the Central Coast remain without power after thunderstorms savaged the NSW coast.

Torrential rain, damaging wind and hailstones the size of golf balls lashed Sydney and the Hunter region on Saturday afternoon bringing down trees and taking out hundreds of power lines.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) issued a severe thunderstorm warning Saturday afternoon.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) issued a severe thunderstorm warning Saturday afternoon.
BOM

Sydney's north was hardest hit with parts of the Parramatta and Campbelltown areas and the southern part of the Central Coast also damaged.

SES Media Officer Phil Schafer told SBS News that the organisation has received more than 4900 calls, mainly for fallen trees and roof damage.

He said teams received the most calls from Sydney's Hills district with 582, followed by Hornsby with 465.

"We've had 57 teams working around the clock across Sydney," he said. 

"Our message for people is to stay well away from downed power lines."

Network operators Endeavour Energy and Ausgrid said more than 850 electrical hazards needed to be repaired before supply could be restored to 56,000 homes.

"This was a devastating storm that caused extensive damage to the electricity network," Endeavour Energy spokesman Peter Payne said on Sunday in a statement.

"Many of our customers in the worst affected areas would not have seen damage like this for years."

Ausgrid's Jonathan Hall said the repairs could take a while.

"Unfortunately, it's taking time because that does involve in some places putting in new power poles and new power lines and unfortunately that type of repair takes some time," he told ABC.

A spokesperson from the NSW Transport Management Centre told SBS News that up to 90 sets of traffic lights remained blacked out across Sydney's north and north-west suburbs, and repairs relied on the restoration of the city's energy supply.

Power may not be restored to some intersections until Sunday afternoon, Transport for NSW said.

Thunderstorms brought down trees and hammered some areas with large hailstones.
Thunderstorms brought down trees and hammered some areas with large hailstones.
Twitter / @azsportza

Trains across Sydney were back to normal service on Sunday morning after crews worked "extremely hard overnight to recover from the storm damage," a TfNSW spokeswoman said.

Sunday's weather is expected to remain overcast with a high chance of further showers and a risk of an afternoon thunderstorm.

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