Thousands of residents across Sydney have been left without power and hundreds more stranded at the airport as a huge storm lashed the city.
Images from the city’s west show golf ball-sized hailstones pummelling cars while almost 20,000 lightning strikes were recorded across the greater Sydney area.
Dangerous thunderstorms were detected near Blacktown and Riverstone, the Bureau of Meteorology said on Thursday evening.
The storms moved east with severe thunderstorms hitting the city and eastern suburbs by nightfall.
Scenes were just as chaotic inside Sydney Airport where cancellations and delays across the board have seen a huge backlog of flights develop.
The federal government even gave permission for some of the flights to continue to leave Sydney Airport after the 11pm curfew in a bid to alleviate some of the pressure.
Many frustrated passengers were forced to spend the night sleeping on the ground as they waited for news on when their flights would be rescheduled.
Others are being advised to check with their airlines before leaving for the airport.
@VirginAustralia So me and my wife will sleep on the streets of Sydney thanks to the duty of care for a cancelled flight without any information of reimbursement from the staff… #SydneyStorms #airport #airlines #sydneyweather #unacceptable #inhuman #whocares
— Vimal Kumar (@vim_storm) March 14, 2019
Sydney airport at 0530 after storm cancellations yesterday. We are hoping to make our 3rd transit attempt to the Gold Coast 🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞 pic.twitter.com/ntGZ2tK3g0
— Jackie Brock-Doyle (@jbd01) March 14, 2019
Weather chaos far from over
The downpour, which triggered flash flooding, power outages and more than 350 calls to the rescue service, isn’t slowing down either and could last until early or mid next week.
“NSW SES reports hundreds of calls for assistance while trains, roads and flights have been impacted,” BoM NSW wrote on Twitter.
Friday is forecast to bring showers and thunderstorms to the state’s east possibly extending to the northwestern slopes.
Showers are forecast on Saturday extending to northern inland areas while on Sunday showers will likely reach the far northern inland with a chance of thunderstorms in the north.
— Lexi McLeod (@lexi_mcleod) March 14, 2019
— Natasha Squarey (@NatashaSquarey) March 14, 2019
— Speake (@speake53) March 14, 2019
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