Canberra spared worst as wild weather batters south coast
It might not always be ideal being more than two hours from the pristine beaches of the south coast, but in yesterday's case, that distance was what sheltered Canberra from the worst of a wild storm front that pushed through Australia's far south east.
While Canberra saw some significant rainfall yesterday morning, and experienced high winds throughout the day, the Bureau of Meteorology's Sean Carson said the capital would be spared the damaging conditions experienced over parts of eastern Victoria and the NSW south coast.
A severe weather warning for the ACT was lifted yesterday, and Mr Carson said conditions would gradually ease in the capital after about 20mm of rain fell across the capital and winds gusted up to 75km/h.
Wet weather around the city this morning. Photo: Colleen Petch
ACT SES had received 214 calls for help as of 10.30pm yesterday, mostly for fallen branches and roof leaks, though some houses were struck by falling trees. About 50 jobs were outstanding at 8pm, with no major damage reported.
ACT SES chief officer Tony Graham said most of the calls for help were from people in Tuggeranong and the inner south of Canberra. Most of the city and the east of Canberra escaped the brunt of the winds.
''The damage was relatively minor in comparison to some of the other storms where we get the same number of jobs,'' Mr Graham said.
Canberra's wet start to winter
Builder, Chris Bodenschatz, takes a break to pickup a coffee in Braddon. Photo: Rohan Thomson.
''The advice from the bureau is the winds are going to die off, we don't expect we'll receive any more calls. I think we've seen the worst of it.''
High winds also caused power outages around the capital yesterday, with disruptions reported for up to 3000 ActewAGL customers across suburbs in Belconnen, the City, the Inner South and Weston Creek.
Thousands of Sydneysiders were also left without power as gale-force winds and torrential rain swept across NSW, downing trees and power lines. The State Emergency Service had received 800 calls yesterday, with the majority of requests for help coming from Sydney's south and northern beaches during the late afternoon.
The south coast recorded wind gusts yesterday morning up to 120km/h, and had swells reaching as high as nine metres. NSW Rural Fire Service spokesman Ben Shepherd said volunteers were hard at work cleaning up after the storm along the south coast, where toppled trees had blocked roads and damaged property.
''We've got one house extensively damaged in Malua Bay. A tree's gone down,'' he said.
Eastern Victoria was battered by gale force winds and massive dumps of rain, in some parts amounting to more than one month's average rainfall over a 24-hour period.
Floods also threatened towns in Victoria's Gippsland region.
The front washed large amounts of snow out of the Snowy Mountains, just before the traditional start to the season on the Queen's birthday long weekend.
The rain will likely leave the resorts turning to heavy snow-making operations later in the week to top up the cover before the weekend.
The bureau says the capital can expect a clearing shower or two today, before a return to the classic Canberra winter of clear, sunny days and freezing nights.