Home News School closures and power outages: Chaotic start to week despite easing conditions

School closures and power outages: Chaotic start to week despite easing conditions

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“We’ve had a lot of street flooding as well. Especially out in the west [of Sydney] we’ve had a few river floods and water over bridges in many areas. I’m sure it’s going to be pretty messy tomorrow.

Evacuation orders were issued for parts of Sydney late on Sunday, affecting residents near Narrabeen Lagoon, Pitt Town Bottoms, Richmond Lowlands and parts of the Georges River.

Tree branches came down on a car, blocking Northwood Street, Camperdown.

Tree branches came down on a car, blocking Northwood Street, Camperdown.Credit:Nine

The dangerous weather has forced the Department of Education to shut nearly 40 schools for Monday, most of them in Sydney, the Hunter and the Hawkesbury regions.

St Vincent’s College in inner Sydney Potts Point took the decision to close after a tree came down nearby, causing a suspected gas leak and forcing the evacuation of residents.

It is believed at least 65 schools will be without power on Monday morning, some of which have not yet been declared closed.

NSW Police are advising parents to make sure their school is open before leaving home.

Sydney’s weather will remain wet and breezy, but the extreme conditions seen on Sunday will move south, with a low-pressure trough set to cause havoc over Wollongong and the Illawarra.

“What Sydney has today they’ll have tomorrow,” Mr Narramore said. “[On Monday] the focus of the heavy rainfall will be south of Wollongong.”

On Sunday, south-west Sydney saw rainfall topping 200mm, while winds over 100km/h were recorded in coastal areas.

Similar conditions are forecast for the Illawarra on Monday, Mr Narramore said, before the storm system weakens into Tuesday.

Severe weather warnings are still in place for the Sydney Metropolitan, Illawarra and eastern Central Tablelands, and there are major flood alerts for the Hawkesbury, Nepean and Colo Rivers.

Minor to moderate flood warnings are in place for the Georges, Manning and Gloucester rivers, alongside minor alerts for several other waterways.

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And while the end of the mammoth rainstorm may be in sight, wet weather will persist for several days at least.

“We’re looking at a number of days of showers thunderstorms right across the state,” Mr Narramore said.

Sunday’s gale-force winds destroyed power lines in Sydney, the Hunter and the Hawkesbury, leaving over 135,000 people without power as of 10.30pm.

Ausgrid alone reported 113,000 of its customers were in blackout.

“We’ve been out turning power on all day but it keeps going out in other areas,” Ausgrid spokeswoman Emma Shanks said.

“We’ll be working through the night. It’s going to be a big recovery.”

“A lot of people will wake up without power.”

The Sydney transport network experienced major delays across Sunday, and it is unclear whether normal service will return by Monday morning.

By Sunday night, all trains were suspended on the T7 Olympic Park line Trains and on the T3 line, trains were not running between Sydenham and Campsie.

On the T8 Line buses were replacing trains between Turrella and Kingsgrove due to flooding at Bardwell Park.

Janek Drevikovsky is a journalist at The Sydney Morning Herald.

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