Mira Navas (@ishiekay on Twitter) took this picture in Ingleburn. Click for more photos

Thunderstorms hits Sydney's west

Mira Navas (@ishiekay on Twitter) took this picture in Ingleburn.

  • Mira Navas (@ishiekay on Twitter) took this picture in Ingleburn.
  • Reader Kyra Humphrey sent in a picture of this tree seen fallen over in Ingleburn.
  • Reader Emir Brkic took this picture in Ingleburn.
  • Reader Margaret Najda sent in this picture taken at Colyton.
  • Reader Renee Montgomery sent in this picture of the storm passing over her home in St Clair.
  • Reader Jodie Gillard took this picture in front of Scenic Hills Ranch of a broken horse cart and debris.
  • Reader Jodie Gillard sent in this picture which was taken on Campbelltown road in Denham Court.
  • Reader Jodie Gillard sent in this picture taken on Campbelltown Road at Denham Court.

A SEVERE thunderstorm ripped through Sydney's western suburbs on Thursday night, damaging the roofs of businesses and homes, cutting power to about 3500, and uprooting trees.

The State Emergency Service said at 7.30pm it had received 180 calls for help. The worst-affected areas were at Penrith, Cambridge Park, Horsley Park, Ingleburn and Mount Druitt.

At Blacktown, a fallen power pole trapped a man in his car. He was freed by Fire and Rescue NSW.

In Denham Court a building collapsed, killing a horse.

Rob Sharpe, a meteorologist with Weatherzone, which is owned by Fairfax Media, said winds reached speeds of 107km/h at Penrith and in 10 minutes of the storm beginning 17 millimetres of rain fell in the suburb.

The SES had received 17 reports of roof damage by late Thursday night, spokesman Phil Campbell said. He said a partial roof collapse forced the evacuation of Carnes Hill Marketplace.

The manager of Best Buy Auto on Castlereagh Road, Penrith, Wayne Gerahty, was outside but under cover when the storm hit. He was still drenched two hours after it passed. ''Our yard looks like a disaster area,'' he said. ''The rain was horizontal. I'm 52 and I haven't seen rain like that.''

Mr Gerahty said the wind smashed the windscreens, bent aluminium flag poles and tore others out of the ground and wiped out the yard's power.

Douglas Rawnsley, owner of Penrith City Car Wash, was outside when the storm hit. His staff managed to get indoors, but he could not walk against the wind, so he grasped a pole.

''I was just hanging onto the pole,'' Mr Rawnsley said. ''It just became so fierce so quick. A customer came in and the door nearly blew off his car.''