Planes turned around, tree falls on vehicle as winds play havoc in Canberra

Planes turned around, tree falls on vehicle as winds play havoc in Canberra

Strong winds have played havoc in Canberra as two planes were stopped from landing at its airport, and falling trees downed power lines across the city.

Wind gusts reached 70 km/h at 2pm, and earlier on Wednesday afternoon air traffic told a QantasLink flight from Sydney and a Tigerair flight from Melbourne to turn around as they approached the national capital.

A tree toppled over onto a house in Farrer due to Wednesday's strong winds.

A tree toppled over onto a house in Farrer due to Wednesday's strong winds.Credit:Jamila Toderas

Severe wind shear and gusting cross winds forced the planes to turn back to their departure points where they landed safely.

Weather conditions at the airport improved later and no other flights were expected to be affected.

A tree fell in Curtin, damaging a garage.

A tree fell in Curtin, damaging a garage.Credit:Jamila Toderas

The ACT Emergency Services Agency received 24 requests for help on Wednesday, mostly due to fallen trees on roads and rooftops.

An ACT Emergency Services spokeswoman said paramedics treated a man after a tree branch crashed through the windscreen of his car on the Tuggeranong Parkway Wednesday afternoon. He was taken to hospital with minor injuries.

Another tree hit a vehicle with a limb in Casey at 12.45pm amid heavy wind gusts, while several downed power lines across Canberra.

The city's State Emergency Services needed a chainsaw to remove the tree branch from the car, and Evoenergy was called to Aranda, Rivett, Florey and Weston for unplanned power outages hitting 140 homes, and to Fyshwick where 350 businesses had no electricity late on Wednesday.

Emergency services also arrived at a Drevermann Street, Farrer home where a tree crashed over a back fence and onto the house's roof about 1pm, taking down power lines and causing an outage for 50 households in the suburb.

An hour later at a Gillies Street, Curtin house, another tree damaged a garage, and pulled down power lines. Other trees fell across roads and footpaths on Wednesday afternoon as dry weather left them prone to splitting in strong winds.

Firefighters also extinguished four small grassfires around the ACT as hot and dry fresh winds arrived ahead of a cold front, bringing severe fire danger.

The Bureau of Meteorology said the front brought strong westerly to northwesterly winds to the region, while a gusty southerly change was expected to move up NSW's southern and central coast later on Wednesday.

The bureau predicted damaging winds averaging 60 to 70 km/h with peak gusts more than 90 km/h were possible at higher parts of the Snowy Mountains and the ACT, but said these would ease in the evening.

East of Canberra, at Charleys Forest Road, Wog Wog, firefighters were trying to control a blaze that had burnt four hectares but posed no threat to property.

NSW Rural Fire Service extended a total fire ban declared for the Yass Valley, Goulburn/Mulwaree and Upper Lachlan Shire council areas for Wednesday by a further 24 hours.

The ACT's Emergency Services Agency urged people to take extra care when walking or travelling near trees, and not to park vehicles under them as hot temperatures and strong winds continued into the afternoon.

Doug Dingwall is a reporter for The Canberra Times covering the public service and politics.

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