Parts of NSW have been lashed by strong winds and heavy rain, with the State Emergency Service warning of more severe weather into Wednesday.
SES volunteers had responded to more than 350 calls for help from the public by Tuesday night and thousands of homes had lost power.
“The worst-hit area was Orange, where a narrow part of the town bore the brunt of the damaging winds, which resulted in roof damage and fallen trees,” the SES said.
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for damaging winds along the coast of Sydney, the Illawarra and northern parts of the South Coast from late Tuesday onwards.
A hazardous surf warning was also issued for the Hunter, Sydney, Illawarra, Batemans and Eden coasts, with people advised not to go fishing, swimming or boating.
Winds were expected to gradually ease below gale or damaging wind thresholds from Wednesday morning.
Flood warnings were also issued for several of the state’s rivers, with flood rescue operators on standby.
Residents were warned to not drive, ride or walk through flood waters.
⚠️ #Minor Flood Warning issued for the Macquarie River at #Bathurst. Minor flooding is occurring at #Bathurst. See https://t.co/AdztI2rqg1 for details and updates; follow advice from @NSWSES. #NSWFloods pic.twitter.com/pnVjPcAjI8
— Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) August 24, 2021
There have also been power outages. Endeavour Energy reported cuts to about 18,000 homes, with emergency crews responding mainly in the Illawarra and Shellharbour regions and on the South Coast.
“Extra crews are being marshalled to assist with the repair efforts, with over 250 hazardous incidents to investigate,” Endeavour said on Tuesday night.
“It is likely that due to the damage that some customers will be without power overnight.”