Emergency workers are warning the ACT may be hit by severe gusts of winds Wednesday morning. Photo: Peter Stoop
Emergency workers are warning the ACT may be hit by severe gusts of winds Wednesday morning, which have the potential to cause widespread damage.
Winds with peak gusts of between 90 and 110km/h are forecast to hit the territory from sunrise, and emergency services are urging Canberrans to prepare their homes to protect against any potential damage.
The strong west to southwesterly winds are being generated by a cold front that will move through south-east Australia Wednesday morning and early afternoon.
The prediction of strong winds prompted the Bureau of Meteorology to issue a severe weather warning about 6.15pm on Tuesday night for the ACT, Southern Tablelands, Snowy Mountains, Illawarra, and Central Tablelands.
That will be reassessed Wednesday morning by the bureau and the State Emergency Service.
The warning has prompted the SES to put all seven of its crews and an incident management team on standby.
SES chief officer Tony Graham urged Canberrans to prepare their homes as the winds start to pick up at sunrise.
Mr Graham said residents should secure loose items around the home, protect vehicles by moving them to cover, and ensure branches are trimmed clear of homes.
Residents are also reminded to secure any window shutters and garden furniture, and ensure their pets are protected.
"If the winds do get up to 90 or even up to 110km/h, as at the moment they are being predicted, we would certainly anticipate some damage," Mr Graham said.
"The kind of things we could expect would be trees would either lose their branches, or fall down completely, maybe across roads, on homes, across cars," he said.
"Garden furniture will get blown around in winds of that strength, and it can be disturbing to pets."
Mr Graham said the winds could increase the speed of any grass fire that flared up in the ACT on Wednesday.
He said resources from ACT Fire and Rescue, the Rural Fire Service, and Territory and Municipal Service were all on hand to help respond to the severe weather if needed.
Anyone needing assistance should call the SES on 132 500.