UPDATE: A brutal storm has left more than 50,000 homes in Perth and the South West without power, as emergency services scrambled to cope with widespread damage to schools, heritage buildings and homes across the State.
High winds have ripped off the roof of the new $20 million Terrace Hotel in the CBD.
Winds from the cold front this morning damaged the roof of the heritage part of the building, sending a chimney falling to the street below and smashing a nearby pedestrian walkway.
The Terrace Hotel on St George's Terrace was opened with great fanfare earlier this month in a restored heritage building offering 15 luxury rooms at a cost of nearly $500 per night.
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Emergency Service personnel have begun moving bystanders on St Georges Terrace away from the building, with glass and bricks still falling to the ground.
Witness Sven Ostrini said he was directly across from the hotel when the roof was ripped off.
“There was a big smash, it sounded like a lot of roof hitting the ground,” he said.
“They’re just lucky no-one was walking underneath that part of the building.”
The roof has also been ripped off Buona Vita New Age Organic Pizza on St Brigids Terrace in Doubleview.
Matt Jellicoe, who owns Buona Vita New Age Organic Pizza, was preparing for tonight's customers when the roof blew off his business at about 2pm.
"I heard some wind and then sheet metal banging, and I went out the back to investigate, popped my head out the back door and the whole roof goes woosh, right up. I looked up through the exhaust fan and could see daylight," he said.
"We usually open at 5pm, I think we'll be closed tonight. People will starve. Well, could be a good time to take a holiday."
He had called the SES and his landlord and was waiting for both to arrive.
FESA are reporting 10 cars and houses have been crushed by falling trees or branches, with numerous reports of roofs and doors starting to shear off in the wind.
St George's Terrace has also been partially closed between Milligan and Mill Streets after a tree was blown over by the strong winds. A large tree in Colin Grove, West Perth has also fallen down.
The northern suburbs of Wanneroo, Stirling and the Perth CBD were worst hit, with the Avon Vale Primary School in Northam receiving significant structural damage and immediately saying it would be shut tomorrow.
Samson Primary School, in the city’s south, had damage to the roof of an undercover area, while Beatty Park Aquatic Centre, which was recently refurbished, was also damaged. Beatty Park has been closed for safety reasons.
The State Emergency Service has had more than nearly 150 callouts.
A Department of Transport Spokeswoman said four boats had broken their moorings in the Swan and Canning Rivers.
She said a 12m boat also caused significant damage to boats at the Mangles Bay moorings near Rockingham.Two other boats have broken free from the moorings and run aground on the beach near Point Peron.The spokeswoman said the department was attempting to contact owners and notify them of the damage.Western Power said more than 50,000 customers are without lost power. According to Western Power it could be well into the night before electricity is restored. The worst affected areas in the Perth Metro area are Armadale, Kelmscott and Gosnells. In the South West, the worst affected areas are Collie and York. Homes in Australiand, Narrogin and Dandaragan are also without power.It said strong winds had flung debris and branches into power lines, with more than 400 hazards reported on the network.High winds have also brought down a tree on Kings Park Road, delaying traffic through West Perth.Transperth have reported delays to several bus services leaving the CBD, due to the closure of a number of streets due to storm damage.Perth Airport is also reportedly experiencing delays, with several planes unable to land due to the inclement weather conditions. A post on social media showed a Virgin flight apparently abandoning an attempted landing at Perth Airport as winds continued to gust.A ferry carrying tourists, toolies who had been evicted from Rottnest island and schoolies who decided to leave early left the island as wind gusts reached 117km/h just before noon.The Rottnest Express ferry was battered by huge seas as it made its way to the B Shed dock in Fremantle.All ferry services to and from Rottnest have been cancelled for the rest of the day. Surf Life Saving have closed all metro and South West beaches. At the Dunsborough Lakes campsite, 40 tents were destroyed, leaving hundreds of youngsters without anywhere to sleep, as clothes and belongings were blown into a nearby creek.The weather in Dunsborough has not improved and the schoolies Entertainment Zone will be closed tonight.
The Bureau of Meteorology advised severe thunderstorms were likely to produce damaging winds, large hailstones and heavy rain which may lead to flash flooding in parts of the Goldfields, Eucla, South Interior and South East Coastal districts. The State Emergency Service advises all residents in the State affected by the storms to close curtains and blinds and stay inside away from windows. Construction workers have been told to store loose building materials and tie down sheds. Residents are also warned to be careful of fallen trees and powerlines and damaged buildings. Those who faced flooding were told to make sandbags by using pillow cases filled with sand and place them around doorways to protect homes. Drivers have been cautioned to slow down and use their headlights. The weather bureau says the strongest winds of about 125km/h are expected later on Wednesday.The worst-hit areas are likely to be coastal areas between Perth and Augusta.
Winds should begin to ease along the west coast overnight and the strongest winds will be along the south coast overnight and tomorrow.Higher than normal tides may result in flooding of low lying coastal areas.A wind gust to 117km/h was recorded at Rottnest Island at 11.46am today and a wind gust to 102km/h was recorded at Ocean Reef AWS at 12.15pm. In regional areas, Dwellingup recorded wind speeds of 89km/h winds and Esperance 94km/h.This is an unusual weather event for this time of year. Conditions like these are normally experienced with a winter cold front.The rainy weather is expected to continue until Friday.with AAP