Sydney Western Region includes the western suburbs of sydney and parts of the Blue Mountains. It includes Smithfield and Mulgoa in the south and St Albans and Colo Heights in the north. It includes Strathfield and Lower Portland in the east and Mount Victoria and Katoomba in the West.
Events and Activities
Visit these events to meet your local NSW SES members and learn about Flood, Storm and Tsunami Safety.
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The Western Sydney Hailstorm of March 18, 1990
This severe thunderstorm struck Sydney at 4 o’clock on the afternoon of Sunday, 18 March. Heavy falls of hail occurred over a large area, with high winds. Many trees were toppled, bringing down power and telephone lines. Some hailstones with diameters of 8cm were recorded.
Large parts of Sydney were affected on both sides of the harbour, the most serious damage occurring in the Auburn and Bankstown areas. Thousands of houses sustained broken windows and damage to roofs, mostly because of hail. There were whole streets in which every house suffered damage.
More than 60 people had to be evacuated from their houses until they could be made safe to live in. A further 85 were evacuated from a Bass Hill nursing home which had been damaged.
The State Emergency Service was deluged with more than 3,500 calls for help in the first two days after the storm. SES units were brought in to respond from parts of Sydney which were little affected and from the Newcastle, Illawarra, Central West and Queanbeyan-Cooma areas.
SES volunteers, along with Bush Fire Brigades, NSW Fire Brigades and Army personnel, spent thousands of man hours placing tarpaulins over damaged roofs and heavy-duty plastic over broken windows and removing fallen trees from houses and streets. Over the first few days assistance was provided to some 2000 homes.
Because of the large number of damaged houses and the run on building supplies which developed, tradespeople were unable to complete the permanent repairs quickly. A wet and windy autumn led to many tarpaulins and plastic sheets ripping off, and water entered some houses repeatedly. A near-continuous SES involvement was maintained for two weeks after the storm.
The damage bill, in terms of insurance payouts, was $495M in 2006 dollar terms, and the total economic cost has been estimated at $710M.