Thunderstorms hits Sydney's west
Mira Navas (@ishiekay on Twitter) took this picture in Ingleburn.
Severe thunderstorms ripped through Sydney's western suburbs on Thursday evening, causing roof damage to a number of homes and businesses, power blackouts to about 7800 and uprooting of trees.
The State Emergency Service said it had received 200 requests for assistance late Thursday night. The worst affected areas were around Penrith, Cambridge Park, Horsley Park, Ingleburn and Mount Druitt.
I was just hanging onto the pole. It just became so fierce so quick.Douglas Rawnsley, owner of Penrith City Car Wash
Have photos? Email us
The SES had received 17 reports of roof damage by late Thursday evening, spokesman Phil Campbell said. There had also been a partial roof collapse at Carnes Hill Marketplace at Horningsea Park, in Sydney’s south-west, which had to be evacuated.
"There are lots of trees and branches down across backyards and roads," Mr Campbell said.
A man in Blacktown was trapped in his car by a fallen power pole and rescued without injury, said Superintendent Paul Bailey of NSW Fire and Rescue. In Denham Court a building collapse killed a horse.
Rob Sharpe, a weatherzone.com.au meteorologist, said winds clocked speeds of 107km/h at Penrith and within 10 minutes of the start of the storms 17 mm of rain fell in the suburb. He said another 10mm was recorded at Horsley Park.
Flash flooding affected Ingleburn, Mr Sharpe added.
Earlier on Thursday, the Bureau of Meteorology warned that severe thunderstorms were detected near Campbelltown, Engadine, Waterfall and the Glen Davis/Newnes district, north of Lithgow.
They were forecast to affect Colo Heights, the Yengo National Park northwest of St Albans, Darkes Forest, elensburgh, St Albans, Maroota, Wisemans Ferry and Bulli later in the evening.
By 6.36pm the bureau cancelled its severe thunderstorms warning.
An Endeavour Energy spokesman said power was expected to be restored to 300 homes in Penrith and Cambridge Park by midnight but 470 properties near Ingleburn could be in the dark until early on Friday.
At the peak of the storm damage, some 7800 homes on the Endeavour network were without power.
Another 1800 homes in the south Sydney suburbs of Loftus and Yarrawarrah, on the Ausgrid network, were also affected.
Wayne Gerahty, manager of Best Buy Auto on Castlereagh Road in Penrith, was outside and undercover when the storm hit. He said it was so freakishly powerful that he was still drenched two hours after it passed his area even though he only had to run six paces to get inside.
"Our yard looks like a disaster area," he said.
"The rain was horizontal. It was so freaky it was coming through parallel. I'm 52 and I haven't seen rain like that."
Mr Gerahty said the wind smashed the windscreens of a Holden Cruze and a late model Commodore; it bent aluminium flag poles and tore others out of the ground, knocked over benches and wiped out all their power.
"My yardie's sitting here, he'd been cleaning the yard all day. We are docking his pay because it looks like he done nothing," he joked.
Mr Gerahty said there was no warning for the storm and that it passed in five minutes.
"We are in a car yard, we keep a tight eye on the weather. It got a bit dark but there was no indication this was coming".
Douglas Rawnsley, owner of Penrith City Car Wash, was outside talking to a sales rep when the storm hit. His staff managed to get indoors, but he couldn't walk against the wind, so he gripped onto a pole.
"I was just hanging onto the pole. It just became so fierce so quick," Mr Rawnsley said.
"I told my staff to go into the office. I got caught out in it.
"We couldn't stand up. A customer came in and the door nearly blew off his car".
The storm passed over in about 10 minutes, Mr Rawnsley said. He couldn't remember winds being that strong.
"It wasn't there one minute and it was the next".
Weatherzone.com.au is owned by Fairfax Media, publisher of this website.
- with AAP