Boxing Day hail damages homes and vehicles


As New South Wales grapples with relentless severe storms today, the NSW State Emergency Service (SES) is in responding to a growing number of incidents, with more than 80 jobs in the North Eastern Zone alone.

The onslaught has seen 4-centimetre hail wreak havoc near Maitland, damaging vehicles, skylights, roof tiles, and shattering windows.

Particularly hard-hit is Rutherford, where more than 50 people called for help in under an hour after bearing the brunt of the hailstorm.

NSW SES Assistant Commissioner Sean Kearns said crews were well prepared ahead of anticipated bad weather later tonight.

“We’re expecting further storms into the evening, and some of them may be severe,” Assistant Commissioner Kearns said.

“We may see a recurrence of the weather experienced on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, with potential threats of damaging winds, large hail, and intense heavy rainfall.”

The entire eastern stretch of the state, from Tweed Heads to the Victorian border, is under the storm watch, with several warnings currently active in densely populated areas, including Gosford/Wyong and parts of Greater Newcastle, Sydney, and the Blue Mountains/Hawkesbury regions.

In the aftermath of yesterday’s onslaught, the NSW SES responded to 473 incidents (through to 3pm Boxing Day), which included six flood rescues in the southeast of the state.

The flood rescues included; a home in Bemboka, near Bega, where two occupants found themselves ankle-deep in floodwater. In Laggan, west of Goulburn, a male resident was stranded in his home. Additionally, at Kiama a family was rescued from a caravan and two people were rescued from a car in flash flooding. At Albion Park, two rescues occurred for vehicles in flash floodwaters.

Crews have continued clean up efforts at Grenfrell today, attending to 59 incidents following a hail storm yesterday.

Assistant Commissioner Kearns highlighted the ongoing concern for the southeastern part of the state, where further storms and heavy rainfall are anticipated tonight.

“Eurobodalla experienced almost 190 millimetres of rain in 24 hours, while additional significant falls near Bega have resulted in a minor flood warning being issued,” he said.

For emergency help in floods and storms, call the NSW SES on 132 500. In life threatening situations, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

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