It’s been described as a “once in a century” storm event.

And tonight, millions of people across New South Wales are still counting the cost.

The deluge had it all; torrential, horizontal rain, cyclonic winds, even snow.

Myles Holley reports.


The storm was brutal and shocking, and it was much stronger than originally forecast.

The clouds began rolling in over the city mid afternoon, an ominous sight.

Then at 8pm the heavens opened.

There was chaos.

From Sydney, west to the Blue Mountains and down to the Southern Highlands and north to the Hunter.

Roads were closed, cars were crumpled, homes were flooded and even set alight by lightning.

Winds of up to one 160 kilometres an hour, the same as a category 2 cyclone battered the state.

Some areas copped 170 millimetres of rain, in less than 90 minutes.

Roofs crumbled under the weight.

Flooding and lightning left 30,000 homes in the dark.

SES volunteers conducted 57 flood rescues, including 12 train passengers trapped, when the rail-tracks turned into a fast-moving river.

SES Volunteer: “No one on board was injured, everybody’s safe they’re in good spirits.”

Although it was an anxious wait until volunteers could move in.

Vox 1: “We just sort of saw the water rising up towards the window.”

Vox 2: “I was frightened.”

Flash flooding also swamped Lewisham Station in Sydney, leaving the subway submerged in dirty water.

While Sydney Airport runways were closed and 32 flights cancelled because of the storm outside.

Inside the terminal was a danger zone too, passengers moved out as machines moved in, to clean up the flooded baggage claim area.

Myles Holley, QUT News.