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Emergency services across NSW are in clean-up mode after strong winds damaged homes and wreaked havoc at Sydney airport on Thursday, just days after major bushfires hit the state.
As RFS surveyors continued to review the damage from the Coolagolite fire, which burnt through 6700 hectares on the NSW South Coast earlier this week, the NSW SES were being inundated with calls on Thursday morning due to damaging winds.
The NSW SES responded to hundreds of calls in recent days due to extreme weather.Credit: NSW SES
NSW SES Assistant Commissioner Sean Kearns said most calls came from the state’s north, where roofs were torn off homes and multiple trees fell onto buildings and roads.
“Over the last few days, winds exceeding 120 kilometres an hour and rainfalls of around 70-100 millimetres have been recorded in some parts of the state,” he said.
“The fact we have not seen any reports of injuries or rescues is a credit to the community for doing the right thing.”
Essential Energy confirmed powerlines were brought down overnight across regional, rural and remote NSW.
Since October 1, the NSW SES responded to 436 incidents across the state. Credit: NSW SES
At the height of the outage, 13,300 customers were without power across the Northern Tablelands to the North Coast, Mid North Coast, Central Tablelands and the South Coast.
From 12pm Wednesday to 12pm Thursday, NSW SES volunteers responded to 291 incidents with the highest wind gust in the period recorded at Thredbo, with 106km/h registered at 10.30pm on Wednesday.
The Upper Hunter recorded a 102km/h gust just after 6pm, while Scone recorded a 98km/h gust at 6.13pm.
In Sydney, the winds caused 130 flights to be cancelled at Sydney Airport, which was reduced to single-runway operations for most of Thursday.
Sydney Airport recorded a wind gust of 61km/h just after 12pm, while Kurnell registered a 63km/h gust just before 11am.
Winds are expected to calm and airport operations to return to normal for Friday.
“This decision is purely weather and safety related to safeguard the travelling public,” a spokeswoman said.
The Bureau of Meteorology’s Kimba Wong said while the state had been through its fair share of extreme weather over the last week, things would calm down over the coming days, as a low-pressure system and cold front finally moves off the coast.
Wong said the heat, winds, flooding and bushfires were part of a “transition” into spring, which had now run its course.
“While it’s been pretty crazy, and it’s uncommon to see all this hectic weather in just one day, we do usually see this transition period for spring,” she said.
“We will still have breezy conditions in the coming days, but not those damaging winds which will ease back. Generally, we are expecting more settled conditions in the coming week.”
Sydney can expect a maximum 21 for Friday and 19 for Monday, with the cooler conditions a welcome relief for firefighters.
Almost 400 fires have now occurred across the state since last Friday, including the Bega Valley, Mid-Western, Hunter and North Coast areas. Thirty-nine fires are still burning across the state.
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