Tens of thousands without power after deadly storm
A man has been killed by a flying gas bottle during a severe thunderstorm that pummelled Sydney with damaging winds, flash flooding and hailstones
NSW Police have said the 37-year-old man had been walking along Harrington Street in the Rocks, in the city's CBD, around midnight when the gas bottle was picked up in strong winds and struck him, causing severe injuries.
The man was taken into a nearby hotel by witnesses, before police were called to the scene and performed CPR.
He was ultimately rushed to St Vincent's Hospital but died there from his injuries. A crime scene was established on the street.
Tens of thousands of Sydney homes and businesses were without electricity as the severe storm system passed over the city.
Power provider Ausgrid said 80,000 of its customers lost electricity overnight in a region extending from Mona Vale on the Northern Beaches, west to Berowra and down to Pymble and Ryde.
More than 49,000 homes are still without power this morning.
Endeavour Energy also electricity cuts were affecting 24,000 of its customers after power lines were brought down in northwest Sydney and the Hawkesbury region last night, with 270 electrical hazards needing repairs.
At Terrey Hills, the roof was ripped off the local golf club, with fire crews attending to help the SES.
Damaging winds of about 90km/h also hit Nowra, while the state's highest gusts were recorded at North Head, where wind speeds reached as high as 111km/h.
The SES received more than 900 calls for help last night, with only 100 volunteers able to assist.
More volunteers are expected to be deployed today to deal with the clean-up.
"The sort of winds we saw were over 120km/h, which is very, very unusual. We are hoping we have seen the last of it," SES Assistant Commissioner Paul Bailey told Today.
"We are doing our best to work with the electrical companies to get power back as quickly as we can.
"But we envisage a long, long day, into tonight and obviously tomorrow we'll be continuing on a big clean-up for everybody going forward.
"We will be doing our best to get to you as quickly as we can. We ask you to be patient and understand we are trying our best to get to you as quickly as we can."
As the thunderstorms were fast moving, rainfall totals have been quite low across the state, with 24 millimetres the highest recorded in Greenstead near the Hawkesbury River.
Orange recorded 12mm in 10 minutes, due to thunderstorm activity.
The Bureau of Meteorology warned thunderstorms are likely to continue this morning in central NSW before moving towards the north-east by the afternoon.
Gale warnings remain in place for the Eden Coast and strong wind warnings for the Macquarie Coast, Hunter Coast, Illawarra Coast and Batemans Coast.
Hazardous surf warnings are also in place for the Illawarra Coast, Batemans Coast and Eden Coast, with the NSW Police Marine Area Command advising people to consider staying out of the water.