News State New South Wales Tornadoes, swollen dams, lightning: NSW’s wild weather
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Tornadoes, swollen dams, lightning: NSW’s wild weather

A lightning strike in Lismore on Monday.
ABC
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Emergency crews have responded to hundreds of calls for help and undertaken dozens of rescues as wild weather swept areas of New South Wales on Monday and Tuesday.

Conditions in some parts were so severe that roofs were torn off homes, towns were forced to evacuate and dams threatened to dangerously overflow.

The State Emergency Service (SES) responded to more than 1600 calls for help and carried out more than 50 rescues due to flash flooding across the state’s west, Illawarra and in southern parts of Sydney.

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Residents around the St Georges Basin and Sussex Inlet in the Shoalhaven area were issued a flood warning and were advised to be ready for evacuation.

Up to 360 millimetres of rain fell in the 30 hours up to 6:00pm on Tuesday in the St Georges Basin and three rescues were carried out at Sanctuary Point in the area.

While the worst of the low pressure system has passed, there is still a risk of potentially more wild weather to come for already effected areas of NSW.

However by Wednesday it is expected the worst of the conditions would clear, the Bureau of Meteorology said.

The havoc has seen residents from all over the state take to social media to share the incredible vision and photos they captured of the dramatic storms.

‘Ominous’ mini tornado

A “mini tornado” at Dubbo in the state’s central west late on Monday damaged buildings and brought down trees and power lines.

Mick Medlin, Dubbo station officer for Fire and Rescue NSW, said he saw the tornado develop.

“It looked very ominous, and I pulled over,” he said. “I had the kids in the car so I stayed at quite a safe distance.”

Vision and images taken around Dubbo verified the officer’s concerns. One showed a roof blown from a house.

A "mini tornado" hit Dubbo in western NSW on Monday.
A “mini tornado” hit Dubbo in western NSW on Monday. Photo: ABC

Thousands of lightning bolts light sky

The Sydney night sky was littered with an average of 24 lightning strikes a minute, according to Weatherzone.

From 7pm to 10pm Monday night , Weatherzone detected almost 4500 strikes within a 40 km range of the Sydney central business district.

The phenomenon made for the capturing of some remarkable images around NSW. 

A lightning strike in Lismore on Monday.
A lightning strike in Lismore on Monday. Photo: ABC

Dam walls threaten to burst

SES Deputy Commissioner Greg Newton said 10 out of 12 properties around the Jerrara Dam near Kiama, Illawarra, had been evacuated on Tuesday morning amid fears the dam wall was starting to fail.

One of the properties evacuated was a local primary school. The dam is in the process of being decommissioned and because of this, it was vulnerable to higher waters breaching it. 

Images show how the dam struggled to cope with the influx of water after heavy rains.

Photo: ABC
The Jerrara Dam overflows into a nearby property. Photo: ABC
Photo: ABC
It forced this farmer to move his cattle far away from floods that threaten the town’s plains. Photo: ABC
Photo: ABC/SES
Waters raged in catchment areas around the dam. Photo: ABC/SES

Sydney suburbs’ show off floods

A severe thunderstorm also hit central parts of Sydney, bringing hailstones, lightning, heavy rain and flash flooding.

Hailstones as large as 20 cent coins were reported in some suburbs as heavy rain and hail swept the city.

The severe weather caused flash flooding throughout the CBD as well as the inner west and eastern suburbs, before moving south and out to sea.

Footage on social media showed cars stopped in the middle of CBD streets inundated with water.  

– with ABC

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