‘STAY SAFE’: Ominous text messages sent out ahead of huge storm

Olivia Lambert
News Editor

People have received alarming texts warning of destructive hail that could hit a large part of NSW.

The Bureau of Meteorology has warned of heavy rainfall, large hailstones and damaging winds on Monday as an inland trough combines with an unstable upper atmosphere and moist airmass to create severe storms over nine different districts.

Areas bracing for the wild weather include Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Armidale, Orange, Tamworth, Dubbo and Bourke.

Sydneysiders may need to take an umbrella to work on Tuesday. Source: AAP

The fast-moving storm is likely to hit Sydney on Tuesday, according to Weatherzone meteorologist Brett Dutschke.

“There is a significant chance of thunderstorms being severe tomorrow in Sydney and the surrounds,” he told Yahoo News Australia.

“Wind, rainfall and hail are a likely feature of the thunderstorm in the Sydney area.

“It will be fairly fast-moving so there’s a chance of flash-flooding but it will be brief.”

Mr Dutschke said damaging wind gusts could reach up to 90km/h, with a chance of cracking 100km/h.

There are severe thunderstorm warnings in large parts of NSW. Source: Windy

“People should keep an ear and eye out for storm warnings. They could be changing fairly frequently about which areas could be affected,” he said.

The storm is expected to weaken by Wednesday.

Ominous text message sent ahead of storm

Insurance company Budget Direct sent urgent text messages to customers on Monday warning of hail in some parts of Sydney.

“High probability of hail for Erskineville. Please take appropriate precautions and stay safe,” the text said.

A weather warning on Monday extended from the Central Tablelands to the North West Slopes and Plains, Central West Slopes and Plains, Northern Tablelands and parts of Northern Rivers, Mid North Coast, Hunter, Southern Tablelands, South West Slopes and Upper Western Forecast districts.

“Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce heavy rainfall that may lead to flash-flooding, large hailstones and damaging winds in the warning area over the next several hours,” BoM said.

A submerged car is seen on a bridge over the Nepean River at Cobbitty on February 10, 2020 in Sydney. Source: Getty

There had been a huge downpour in some areas on Monday, with 61mm recorded in just an hour at Kooroowi near Coffs Harbour, 35.8mm in 30 minutes at Coolah in the state’s Central West and almost 37mm in 30 minutes at Manilla near Tamworth.

The State Emergency Service warns people to move cars away from trees, secure loose items, keep at least eight metres from fallen power lines and trees likely to collapse.

People in storm-affected areas should also stay indoors and avoid using computers and phones.

Woman found alive after disappearing in flooded bush

A woman feared dead after disappearing in flooded and dense bush on the Gold Coast has been found alive.

Police divers had to scale a cliff face to find Chinese university student Yang Chen on Monday morning.

The section of the Tallebudgera Valley was about 300m from where she was last seen on Wednesday. 

Authorities believe she walked into that area overnight, after finding nothing during a search of the same patch of bush on Sunday.

The 26-year-old was reported missing on Wednesday morning by a man who climbed some boulders ahead of her during a walk near the Gorge Falls, only to come back and find she was gone. 

Yang Chen with rescuers after she was miraculously found alive. Source: Queensland Police

Members of the Gold Coast bushwalking club, park rangers, surf lifesavers, water police, divers, bike squad and trail bike teams, officers from the criminal investigation branch and rapid action control group all helped look for her.

Torrential rainfall at the time forced the search to be suspended.

Drones and helicopters were used and her name was called every few minutes.

She is very unwell and has been taken to Robina Hospital for medical treatment.

The woman had lost her shoes, but was able to walk to an ambulance after being given a pair of socks by a police officer.

A number of creeks in the area were flooded at the time she went missing.

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