The relentless storm that battered Sydney and NSW’s mid-north coast the last few days has finally eased, however the ferocious weather resulted in the deaths of eight people, immense property damage, evacuations and a dozen local government areas have been declared disaster zones.
In the aftermath of the east coast low pressure system, the body of an 86-year-old woman was pulled from a vehicle in floodwaters near Maitland yesterday.
A head-on collision in wet conditions on the New England Highway near Singleton yesterday resulted in the deaths of both drivers, while two passengers from one of the vehicles involved were flown to hospital in a serious condition.
A man driving a ute died after colliding with a garbage truck at Galston, while in East Gosford, an 87-year-old pedestrian was killed after being hit by a car.
Three elderly people — a woman and two men aged in their 60s and 70s — from Dungog, north of Newcastle, died as a result of flash flooding.
12 councils between Newcastle and Sydney were declared natural disaster zones by Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan and NSW Emergency Services Minister David Elliott.
More than 800 State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers responded to around 10,500 calls for assistance over the past three days.
SES deputy commissioner Steve Pearce said the storm has resulted in millions of dollars worth of property and infrastructure damage, with further costs expected.
The Insurance Council of Australia said there had been more than 7000 individual claims on Tuesday alone for storm-related damage across NSW.
“Most of the damage is for fairly light damage to homes, mainly water damage and other damage caused by wind,” an insurance council spokesperson said.
NSW residents are also experiencing mass phone and internet service problems. However, the SMH reports power outages and fallen trees on phone lines are not the only reasons why people can’t get online.
Some customers have been experiencing slower internet speeds and lost connections because copper wires in Telstra pits were not properly sealed for wet weather conditions, according to the union representing Telstra field staff.
It will reportedly take weeks to repair the damage, given the backlog of up to 15,000 faults on Telstra’ NSW network.
Internet issues were the least of problems for this Central Coast resident who captured incredible footage of a thick layer of foam which swept across Avoca Beach yesterday morning.
“I was kind of freaking out, I thought it was a tsunami,” Sylvia Freedman told Fairfax Media. “I didn’t realise it was mostly foam.”
Check out the video below.
Here are some photos of the storm’s aftermath.
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