Weather Power cuts, flood warnings as wild weather lashes four states

Power cuts, flood warnings as wild weather lashes four states

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Source: Twitter/Bureau of Meteorology

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More than 16,000 Victorian households and businesses were without power on Wednesday morning, while flood warnings were renewed for parts of NSW.

Wild winds that lashed Victoria overnight were forecast to move into southern NSW, the ACT and Tasmania on Wednesday, with heavy rain expected on Thursday.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued issued a warning for damaging winds and heavy rain in the Illawarra, the NSW south coast, southern tablelands, south-west slopes, Snowy Mountains and Australian Capital Territory.

“A complex low-pressure system continues to deepen south of the Bight and an associated trough and cold front will result in vigorous north-westerly winds developing this morning, as well as the potential for heavy rainfall from Thursday morning,” BOM said early on Wednesday.

“This front will move offshore early Friday morning.”

Damaging wind gusts of about 90km/h are possible in some areas, with up to 125km/h in alpine areas.

The weather bureau also warned of possible flash flooding from heavy rain expected across the Snowy Mountains and south-west slopes from early Thursday morning. Six-hourly rainfall totals of 45-60 millimetres are possible.

There are also flood warnings for Tasmanian rivers, and a road weather alert for much of the state.

The wild weather has already cut a swathe across Victoria. The State Emergency Service fielded 254 calls for help in the 12 hours to 8.20am on Wednesday, with 214 for fallen trees.

“Take care while out on the road this morning, and watch out for fallen trees, branches and powerlines,” the SES warned on social media.

AusNet Services reported the most unplanned power outages, with more than 15,000 as of about 9am. They were most significant east of Melbourne and in the state’s far south-east.

It came after strong winds lashed Victoria into early Wednesday, with Mount Hotham recording gusts of 128km/h about 2.20am, and Mount William one of 122km/h about 12am.

Melbourne Airport recorded gusts of 82km/h just after 12.30am, while Moorabbin Airport had one of 85km/h about 1.15am.

A severe weather warning remained for damaging winds in parts of East Gippsland, along with Victoria’s north-east, west, and South Gippsland forecast districts.

The winds are due to the strong cold front moving over eastern Victoria, that has brought damaging winds with peak gusts of up to 110km/h in the eastern ranges. Conditions are expected to ease in the area on Wednesday afternoon.

However, the Bureau of Meteorology warned another cold front would approach the state late on Wednesday night, with further damaging winds expected in the south-west.

Peak gusts are forecast to reach about 90km/h.

There is also an air quality warning for winds blowing dust in from central Australia on Wednesday morning until Thursday.

Melbourne and Geelong are both forecast to have poor air quality as a result.

Warnings also remain in Western Australia, where this week’s low-pressure system has brought waves of up to 10 metres to the south-west coast.

Perth Airport ground to a standstill late on Tuesday after the storm damaged a high-voltage transmission pole. Flights were delayed as some terminals were left without overhead lighting before power was restored after several hours.

About 8100 homes and businesses remained without power on Wednesday morning due to storm-related outages. Most were in the Perth metropolitan area, with others in WA’s south-west.

More wild winds, with gusts of more than 100km/h, were expected on Wednesday before conditions eased.

-with AAP