Flooding, traffic chaos as heavy rain lashes Sydney
SYDNEY: Torrential rain and gale force winds lashed Australia's biggest city of Sydney yesterday. It caused commuter chaos, flooding streets, railway stations and homes, and grounding flights.
Police called on motorists to stay off the roads. One person was killed in a car crash and two police officers seriously injured when a tree fell on them as they helped a stranded motorist.
Office manager Greg Transell told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that strong winds caused widespread disruption to the tower block office where he works.
"I started to go upstairs to see if there was any damage and next minute there was an almighty bang and it ripped panels off the roof in the warehouse," said Mr Transell.
Australia's Bureau of Meteorology said within just a few hours Sydney got more than 100mm of rain, a level that it would normally get through the whole of November.
"That's the sort of rainfall you'd expect to see once every 100 years," Ms Ann Farrell, the bureau's state manager, told reporters.
Although the rain offered a welcomed respite to farmers who have suffered through a sustained drought in recent months, the weather caused major disruptions to Sydney's transport network.
Sydney Airport said 130 flights had been cancelled or delayed after it was forced to close two of its three runways.
"The storm is pretty intense in and around the airport," Ms Cait Kyann, an airport spokesman said. - REUTERS