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Superstorm's trail of devastation: More than 55,000 homes wake up without power in Sydney - as Queensland braces for 'zombie cyclone' to reform after half a metre of rainfall overnight

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 12/16/2018 Sam Lock For Daily Mail Australia

More than 55,000 properties in Sydney and the Central Coast remain without power after thunderstorms savaged the NSW coast

More than 55,000 properties in Sydney and the Central Coast remain without power after thunderstorms savaged the NSW coast
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited

More than 55,000 homes in Sydney and the Central Coast remain without power after thunderstorms have savaged the NSW coast.

Torrential rain, damaging wind and hailstones the size of golf balls lashed Sydney and the Hunter region on Saturday afternoon bringing down trees and taking out hundreds of power lines.

Fears of tropical 'zombie' cyclone Owen re-forming off the Queensland coast are still a concern after wild winds and up to 200mm of torrential rain swept across the state's far north.

Parts of Queensland's far north were drenched overnight, with Halifax north of Townsville recording 669mm rainfall in the last 24 hours alone.  

Although the cyclone had settled to a tropical low by late Saturday afternoon, QFES Commissioner Katarina Carroll said heavy rainfall and flash flooding could still follow and warned residents not to be complacent. 

A 50 percent chance was given for Owen spinning back up into a cyclone in the Coral Sea off Townsville on Tuesday.

Along the NSW coast Sydney's north was hardest hit with parts of the Parramatta and Campbelltown areas and the southern part of the Central Coast also damaged.

The SES said they'd received more than 4,600 calls, mainly for fallen trees and roof damage. 

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe thunderstorm warning for most of New South Wales' east coast on Saturday afternoon after vicious wind gusts nearing 100km/h slammed northern parts of the state at around 2pm.

By 5pm three separate thunderstorms came together to form a 'super-cell' storm around the greater Sydney area and Wollongong. 

Weatherzone meteorologist Lachlan Maher told Daily Mail Australia it was possible storm-like conditions could return on Sunday afternoon.

'This is quite a slow moving system coming in from western parts of the state towards the coast, so there is a chance it could return tomorrow evening.' 

Network operators Endeavour Energy and Ausgrid said more than 750 electrical hazards needed to be repaired before supply could be restored to 56,000 homes.

'This was a devastating storm that caused extensive damage to the electricity network,' Endeavour Energy spokesman Peter Payne said on Sunday.

'Many of our customers in the worst affected areas would not have seen damage like this for years.'

Ausgrid's Jonathan Hall said the repairs could take a while.

'Unfortunately, it's taking time because that does involve in some places putting in new power poles and new power lines and unfortunately that type of repair takes some time,' he told ABC.

Traffic lights are also blacked out in Northmead, West Pennant Hills and Campbelltown.

Power may not be restored to some intersections until Sunday afternoon, Transport for NSW said.

Trains across Sydney were back to normal service on Sunday morning after crews worked 'extremely hard overnight to recover from the storm damage,' a TfNSW spokeswoman said.

Sunday's weather is expected to remain overcast with a high chance of further showers and a risk of an afternoon thunderstorm.


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