One man has been killed, thousands of homes are without power and emergency services are calling in extra strike teams after a severe storm hit Sydney this afternoon.
The man died after his car, travelling on the Great Western Highway, was crushed an “extremely large tree” at Emu Plains in the city’s west, New South Wales Ambulance Inspector Murray Traynor said.
A 60-year-old woman driving the car suffered multiple injuries and was airlifted to Westmead hospital in a stable condition.
“A large tree appears to have fallen across the road on top a vehicle, which tragically has ended in the death of one person,” Inspector Traynor said.
“Also a female patient has been transported to Westmead Hospital with pelvic and abdominal injuries, as well as lower limb injuries.”
“They were both trapped for … a long time.”
Emergency services said it took about 40 minutes to free the woman.
A storm cell hit Western Sydney just after 2pm bringing down trees and powerlines as it made its way east across the city.
The State Emergency Service said it had received more than 500 calls for help, while the NSW Fire and Rescue Service have received 1600.
Jacqueline Rose from the SES warned of more strong winds overnight.
“People need to be a little bit careful when they’re driving and also if they’re walking around,” she warned.
“Maybe just stay indoors because there’s a little bit of wind and rain going on and there could be stray objects, stray trees around.”
The worst hit suburbs were Penrith, Moorebank, Mt Druitt, and Schofields, the SES said.
Almost 80,000 homes and business were leftwithout power as a result of storm damage.
Ausgrid said it had begun work to restore power to about 34,000 customers in Sydney’s south around Bankstown, Sylvania, Mortdale, Peakhurst, Panania and Heathcote.
Further north, about 4500 customers were left without power in parts of Narara, Niagara Park, Lisarow, Ourimbah, Peats Ridge and Berkeley Vale.
Endeavour Energy was working overnight to restore power to a further 40,000 customers in western Sydney.
The suburbs worst affected were Rooty Hill, Chipping Norton, Moorebank, Liverpool, Mount Druitt, Fairfield West, Canley Heights, Hammondville, Lurnea, St Clair, Hebersham, Carramar, Emu Plains, Prairiewood and Llandilo.
The severe weather has affected a number of roads in Sydney, as well as the public transport network.
The Great Western Highway was closed for several hours in both directions at Emu Plains.
The Princes Highway was temporarily closed at Rockdale because of a partial building collapse, and Hawkesbury Valley Way was closed in both directions due to a fallen tree at Claredon.
— Mohamed Taha (@Mo_Taha1) January 14, 2016