'One hell of a storm!': Severe weather leaves Sydney unrecognisable
Sydney’s long overdue wet weather continued on Friday with a tempestuous storm leaving some parts of the city unrecognisable and commuters in chaos.
While severe thunderstorms battered parts of NSW, it was Sydney’s south region which copped the brunt of the weather, with a hail storm leaving the Pacific Highway blanketed in a white layer.
Remarkable footage from the area reveals scenes Australians would associate more with the state’s coldest areas located in the Snowy Mountains.
“Are we back in Perisher?” Paul Lyth, who uploaded the clip to Facebook, asked.
“One hell of a storm!” he said as he tackled the blistering conditions between Sydney and Wollongong.
The hail also swept through eastern and southern suburbs including Mascot, Zetland, Maroubra, La Perouse, Bankstown, Ashfield and Rockdale.
Heavy rain caused flooding
The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe thunderstorm warning on Friday night for heavy rain and large hailstones in the Northern Rivers, Mid North Coast, North West Slopes and Plains and Northern Tablelands Forecast Districts.
And the resulting rain caused commuter chaos on Friday evening as stations across the city flooded and lightning damaged rail equipment during peak travel time.
Reports of significant waits for passengers at stations were worsened after motorists were told to find alternative ways home when a motorcycle crash closed the Sydney Harbour Tunnel southbound for over five hours.
Mobile phone footage captured the moment water poured into Town Hall station, flooding the busy transport hub. Water levels were reportedly knee-high at Carramar station in Sydney’s west.
And it wasn’t just the rail network disrupted with flights grounded at Sydney airport as lightning strikes at a rate of 1,000 per hour were recorded.
Passengers reported waits of up to an hour on the tarmac while over 50 flights were cancelled, the ABC reported.
Worst hit by the rain was Bankstown, with 58mm of rain in just one hour at the peak of Friday’s downpour.
Images of Tempe on social media showed cars driving through flooded streets with water levels reaching bumper level.