The month of August typically brings harsher weather conditions to our region and it appears that this year is no exception.
Today, Tuesday, August 3, the Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for damaging winds in parts of the Illawarra Forecast District.
The district, including the Southern Highlands and areas south, is expected to have strong gusty winds building through into Wednesday, August 4, with damaging winds averaging 60 to 70 km/hr with peak gusts of 90km/hr possible.
It is important for communities to prepare for 'wild weather' and I particularly wish to reinforce this for the following reasons:
1. Rainfall for autumn has generally been above average and
2. Bushfire damage
The pre-existing conditions add to the impact damaging winds can have on communities.
More than usual requests for assistance, serious accidents from fallen trees and flying debris all put a strain on local emergency resources.
I wish to support our state emergency service colleagues in reminding people what they should do and follow the advice provided.
Under these circumstances people should:
- Move vehicles under cover or away from trees.
- Secure or put away loose items around your house, yard and balcony.
- Keep at least 8 metres away from fallen power lines or objects that may be energised, such as fences.
- Trees that have been damaged by fire are likely to be more unstable and more likely to fall.
- Report fallen power lines to either Ausgrid (131 388), Endeavour Energy (131 003), Essential Energy (132 080) or Evoenergy (131 093) as shown on your power bill.
- Stay vigilant and monitor conditions. Note that the landscape may have changed following bushfires.
For emergency help in floods and storms, ring your local SES Unit on 132 500.