December 14, 2017

Chaos in Sydney as wild weather causes havoc

Tree v Train at Medlow Bath.

Sydney is facing another day of extreme weather after a storm left 33,000 homes without power and two trains disabled by downed trees.

At Medlow Bath in the Blue Mountains, paramedics were called to treat three people when a train reportedly carrying 20 passengers had its front carriage crushed by a falling tree.

In a separate incident, an eastbound XPT was also struck by a tree as it was travelling between Blackheath and Medlow Bath but no one was injured.

All trains had been suspended between Lawson and Lithgow because fallen trees had blocked the tracks.

Gales of up to 140km/h brought down trees, power lines and traffic lights, caused commuter chaos and delayed domestic arrivals at Sydney Airport.

The weather bureau says the strongest wind gust of 140km/h was recorded at Mount Bryce on the central tablelands.

A bureau forecaster, Chris Webb, said more strong winds were expected this afternoon and evening, with winds reaching their worst early tomorrow.

The State Emergency Service received more than 970 calls, most of which were from the Blue Mountains, southern highlands and some Western Sydney suburbs, a spokesman, Dave Rose, said. The service had also been called to assist the NSW fire service and police rescue when a nursing home in Leura sustained roof damage.

All this adds up to commuter chaos in a city where it is hard enough to get to work on time on a good day. Maybe it is better to take the day off and ride this one out at home.