Severe Winds Wreak Havoc on New South Wales South Coast

The New South Wales (NSW) south coast is grappling with the damage wrought by gale-force winds overnight and into this morning. State Emergency Service (SES) has increased its presence, mobilizing additional crews and requesting assistance from other emergency organizations to manage the fallout.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) reported a wind gust hitting speeds of 100 kilometres per hour in Nowra, leading to substantial damage including the removal of a house roof in Dapto. At the height of the storm, power was lost in 7,000 homes across Jervis Bay, Shellharbour, Nowra, and Figtree, a suburb of Wollongong. Power outages persist in certain areas of Shoalhaven, including Tomerong, Greenwell Point, and Bawley Point.

The SES has been inundated with more than 200 calls for aid, predominantly from severely affected areas such as Dapto and Kiama. In response to the ongoing severe weather warning for damaging winds in Illawarra, residents have been advised to remain vigilant through Monday evening.

The gusty west-to-north-westerly winds sweeping across the Great Dividing Range have been attributed to a deep low-pressure system south-west of Tasmania, resulting in a tightening pressure gradient. The conditions are impacting Eden, the Illawarra, southern Sydney, and regions of the Blue Mountains, with Shellharbour and Bellambi recording wind gusts over 90km/h.

SES members have been tasked with multiple assignments, including the removal of a large tree branch that fell onto a house in Figtree during the afternoon. By Monday evening, the SES had answered more than 200 callouts throughout the region.

In an official statement, NSW SES Chief Superintendent Tom Jory urged residents to remain alert over the next 24 hours. He advised securing loose items around properties and avoiding unnecessary travel. He also highlighted the importance of staying clear of fallen trees and power lines for safety during these high winds.

A Severe Weather Warning remains in effect for damaging winds across several regions including the Illawarra, South Coast, Central Tablelands, Southern Tablelands, Snowy Mountains, and parts of Metropolitan. Residents are advised to monitor for travel planning and to park vehicles undercover and away from trees where possible.