LEO: Freak Storm ~ Are You OK? Comments?

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Leo, are you OK, and what did you witness?

"Prepare as if for a storm" -- have noticed more & more terrible storms in the news.
The immediate looting caught my attention; remembered your posts from last New Year's, and expect you'll be able to give us a ground-zero report.

Hail Shatters Sydney

[ For Educational Purposes Only ]

Thursday, April 15, 1999

A freak hail storm swept across Sydney last night, causing damage worth hundreds of millions of dollars and triggering a massive rescue and repair effort by emergency services.

Thousands of homes were damaged as roofs caved in and windows and skylights were smashed. Thousands more cars were wrecked or badly damaged in the storm, which struck with no official warning.

The ambulance service said dozens of people were treated for cuts and lacerations after being hit by falling glass or hail stones, which witnesses described variously as being as big as golf balls, lemons, cricket balls and rock melons.

The brunt of the storm was felt throughout the southern and eastern suburbs - from Bundeena to the city. Late last night, the focus of work by State Emergency Service teams was being directed towards Paddington, Sutherland and nearby suburbs.

By 11pm, the SES had received 1,500 calls for urgent help, and about 9,000 homes were without power. The Northern Division SES controller, Mr Greg Moonie, said it "was as bad if not worse" than the 1991 storm through the northern suburbs, which resulted in 22,000 calls for help from the SES. The storm was caused by a storm cell which developed over Bundeena about 7.30pm and travelled north across the Eastern Suburbs, where it struck about 8pm. It then moved to the lower North Shore and northern beaches area. At 9.30, hail was again reported in the Eastern Suburbs.

In Oxford Street alone, one motorist counted 26 vehicles with smashed windshields after the city was struck at 8.05pm following 15 minutes of spectacular lightning displays. The storm's force sheered off the side mirrors of some cars.

In the following 20 minutes, the inner-city received the most intense battering as hail ranging in size from 10c pieces to the size of cricket balls rained down.

Police said there was widespread damage across Sydney, with live wires and trees down in many suburbs.

Ambulance officers treated injured people at Caringbah, Engadine, Rosebery and the city, and several were taken to hospitals.

At 9pm, police were receiving some reports of looting from damaged and abandoned cars. There was also difficulty with phone lines, and the NRMA and major glass repair companies struggled to deal with the volume of calls.

Many flights at Sydney Airport were cancelled, with some planes damaged by hail.

Inspector Rod Rafferty of Miranda police said more than 100 local homes were damaged by hailstones. He said a 24-year-old Kareela man was rescued from the Port Hacking River after his kayak sank near Lilli Pilli at the height of the storm. He swam to a channel marker, 500 metres off shore, and clung to it until a man in a boat rescued him.

A spokesperson for the Insurance Council of Australia said the last comparable hail storm hit Sydney in January 1991, and cost insurers $300 million. But "that hit at 4pm when there were far more cars on the road".

The two villages of Bundeena and Maianbar in the Royal National Park, south of Sydney, were cut off last night when an eight-kilometre stretch of road was covered by hail-stones up to 50 centimetres deep.

Bundeena resident Mr Grahame Wearne was among at least 50 motorists stranded at the northern and southern entrances to the national park. Mr Wearne's car windscreen was badly cracked in the storm while he was on Southern Cross Drive near the airport, when his daughter rang and said the glass roof in their house was smashed and water was pouring in. She said it was "like a roar, and then lumps of ice were falling out of the sky".

In David Street, Mascot, several homes suffered major damage. Mr Nick Efrossynis travelled from Coogee to help his mother, whose roof caved in under the weight of the hail. All the windows at the back of her home, facing south, were smashed.

"Out on the street, it was like a snowfield," said Mr Efrossynis, whose own home was flooded. Houses up and down his mother's street had turned off their power, "so obviously they were taking water".

In Murray Street, Bronte, as an avalanche of ice slithered down the steep hill, people were standing outside, under cover, taking pictures.

At Paddington, Ms Jan Mourice said all houses on one side of Prospect Street had windows smashed. Mr Lucio Galleto, of Lucio's Restaurant at Paddington, said: "I had five windows in the restaurant smashed. Water flooded in and patrons' cars have been smashed."

Drivers on Elizabeth Street in the city drove onto the footpath to protect themselves and their cars. One green BMW careened onto the footpath after its front windscreen was smashed.

The Sydney Swans were forced to abandon their training session at the Sydney Cricket Ground after huge hailstones were dumped on the oval. The SES said its entire Sydney force of 100 crews, with six workers each, were working on relieving storm damage by 9pm. SES workers in Canberra, Newcastle, the Central Coast and the Illawarra were being moved to Sydney last night to help with the rescue effort.
Very instructive. Storm events and their aftermaths help one pre-plan and imagine and mentally and emotionally work through potential Y2K effects.

xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxx

-- Leska (allaha@earthlink.net), April 15, 1999


A UPI Report:

http://www.v ny.com/cf/News/upidetail.cfm?QID=76576

[ For Educational Purposes Only ]

Thursday, 15 April 1999 5:09 (GMT)

SYDNEY, Australia, April 15 (UPI) - A rapidly developing storm pelted parts of Sydney with hail stones reported as large as rock melons, causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damage. Roofs caved in on hundreds of houses and businesses and thousands of cars were damaged when the freak storm hit about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the city's southern suburbs and slowly moved north. Hail stones reportedly covered the ground up to 20 inches deep, closing a section of road in the Royal National Park.

Gotta add Hail Storms to the Y2K simultaneous worldwide cascading domino interconnected hurricanes, avalanches, earthquakes, volcanoes, tornados, blizzards, typhoons, floods, tidal waves, firestorms, lightning strikes, meteor hits, and hazmat spills, nuke launches, terrorist attacks, plagues, etc.

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxx

-- Leska (allaha@earthlink.net), April 15, 1999.

Maybe now you might understand the power of HARRP. EBE

-- EBE (roswel47@majestik.com), April 16, 1999.

Couldn't happen to a nicer place.

-- humptydumpty (no.6@thevillage.com), April 16, 1999.

Hailstones the size of fists?

Australian for ice cubes :)

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), April 16, 1999.

Sounds like Beach's fallout shelter ain't such a bad idea..... <:)=

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), April 16, 1999.

What, huge hail stones but no tornadoes? Sounds odd to this mid-westerner. I thought they usually travelled together.

-- keep (watching@the.skies), April 16, 1999.

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