A severe weather warning was issued for parts of the NSW Hunter region on Monday, with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting heavy downpours, flooding, and damaging winds in excess of 90 kilometres per hour on the coast.
The State Emergency Service’s Hunter region units have received 362 calls for help, and have spent the day rescuing horses, patching up tree damage and repairing leaky roofs.
With the worst of the system passed, the bureau cancelled the warning on Monday evening.
The Greater Sydney region and the Illawarra wasn’t spared from the extreme weather either, with heavy rainfall and gale-force winds prompting the closure of several roads.
St. Ives in Sydney’s north recorded 98 mm of rain in 24 hours, while Gosford on the Central Coast has received 128 mm.
Daytime temperatures also dropped to 15 degrees, down about eight degrees for this time of year, due to a cold front which saw almost 10 centimetres of snowfall in the alps.
The wild weather is likely to stick around for the whole week, the bureau said.
“The good news is later in the week we will start to see a little more sunshine … with those temperatures coming back up to what we’d normally expect at this time of year,” spokeswoman Rebecca Kamitakahara told ABC radio on Monday.
Wind warnings are still in place for the Hunter, Sydney Macquarie, Illawarra and Batemans coasts, while hazardous surf conditions, with swells up to five metres, will also continue.
Earlier on Monday State Emergency Operations Controller Gary Worboys said the weather could cause damage to homes, wreak havoc on the roads and bring down trees and powerlines.
He warned motorists to drive or ride to the conditions, leave plenty of braking room, and if the conditions get dangerous, to get off the road and wait it out.
SES spokeswoman Mandy Bramble said those on the roads seemed to be heeding the message, with horses being the only ‘vehicles’ volunteers have had to rescue so far.
“We’ve had to go and help a couple of horses out of their paddock because the water was rising there,” she told AAP.
“There were a couple of children this morning that were able to get to them and walk them out into safety.”
By Tiffanie Turnbull