Huge hailstones, heavy rainfall and damaging winds smash Australia's east coast

Tom Flanagan
News Reporter

Australia's east coast has been hit by a huge storm with large hail stones, damaging winds and heavy rainfall causing extensive damage.

The Bureau of Meteorology said there were reports of 4.5cm hail at Oran Park in Sydney southwest on Monday about 3pm.

A NSW SES spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia 5.5cm hail hit Campbelltown around the same time.

The spokesperson added SES has responded to more than 220 jobs “mostly related to leaking roofs and trees torn down”.

Residents said the hail in Canberra was the size of golf balls. Source: ESA

BOM issued a warning about 2pm for damaging, locally destructive winds, giant hailstones and heavy rainfall along the east coast stretching from Taree to the NSW-Victoria state border.

A teenage boy and a man were hospitalised after being struck by lightning in the Blue Mountains National Park about 2pm.

NSW SES added the weather is “expected to cause havoc during peak hour for commuters on their drive homes tonight”.

“Get ready NSW,” SES tweeted.

“Move cars undercover and away from trees and power lines.”

Thousands across Gymea Bay and surrounding areas south of Sydney are currently without power, according to Ausgrid.

Nearby areas were soaked on Monday evening - Cronulla South Bowling Club received more than 20mm of rain within an hour before 6.30pm.

Building debris has fallen onto the tracks at Caringbah, leading to a “partial closure” between Sutherland and Cronulla.

People remain trapped in cars on nearby President Avenue, Miranda, after trees fell.

A NSW Ambulance spokesman told Yahoo News Australia three crews responded to three trapped cars with three trapped drivers about 5.15pm.

“All drivers were assessed and only one required transport to Sutherland Hospital in a stable condition with minor injuries,” he said.

Three people were trapped in cars stuck under trees in Miranda. Source: Nine News

Hail lashes Canberra

Earlier, videos and images on social media from Canberra on early Monday afternoon showed the destruction already caused by the adverse conditions.

The ACT Emergency Services Association said it’s received 1200 callouts from the “severe” storm activity.

Five centimetre-wide hail fell across the ACT, with many photos showing a white mass blanketing the ground in scenes more suited to winter than summer.

Giant hailstones fell in Canberra on Monday afternoon. Source: Twitter/ KennyLobo

The Bureau of Meteorology also reported 116km/h winds at Canberra Airport.

One video showed multiple vehicles outside Parliament House with shattered windows due to the large hail.

In another, a barrage of hail stones plummeted down, striking everything in sight.

‘Life threatening’ floods in Victoria

The Bureau of Meteorology said at midday on Monday the conditions predicted across Victoria – including flash flooding – could be “life threatening”.

“Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce intense rainfall that may led to dangerous and life-threatening flash flooding over the next several hours in parts of the West and South Gippsland district,” a severe thunderstorm warning said.

The affected areas include Morwell, Traralgon, Warragul, Sale, Moe, Maffra and Mt Baw Baw.

Warburton, east of Melbourne, received 15mm in an hour before 6.30pm while south at Bunyip River received about 17mm.

Revellers at the Australian Open on Monday. Source: AAP

More than 1900 people are currently without power on Monday evening, according to Powercor Australia.

Melbourne is expected to avoid hail stones, however they might come down in the state’s north.

Parliament House turned into a winter wonderland. Source: AAP

Birds injured in hail storm

A number of people have rushed to help birds injured in the hail storm.

One man tweeted he was helping a “cold and injured” galah in Canberra.

Another claims he came across a crow with an injured head.

RSPCA ACT advises anyone who come across injured wildlife to contact their nearest vet or wildlife carer “as soon as possible”.

“Wild animals become stressed by handling, so you should seek expert advice before handling an injured animal,” the section on its site reads.

“Try to minimise the amount of exposure the injured animal has to people and loud noises. Do not attempt to feed or treat it unless you have specialist knowledge or training.”

Storm clouds over the Sydney Harbour Bridge on Monday. Source: AAP

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