22 February 2023

BOM issues severe thunderstorm warning for Canberra and Queanbeyan

| Kim Treasure
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Weather warning

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has issued a warning for heavy rain, damaging winds and large hailstones for the ACT and parts of NSW, including the Snowy Mountains.

People are being urged to move their cars under cover and secure loose items around their houses.

A southerly change moving through a high-moisture environment in eastern NSW this afternoon (Tuesday, 21 February) is expected to trigger thunderstorms on and near the change.

Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding, damaging winds and large hailstones in the warning area over the next several hours.

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Locations which may be affected include Canberra, Queanbeyan, Mount Ginini and Tidbinbilla.

Power is out in Calwell, parts of Jerrabomberra, Booth, Greenway and Tuggeranong, with more than 3210 customers hit with outages across Canberra.

The State Emergency Service advises that people should:

  • Move your car 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.
  • 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.
  • Trees that have been damaged by fire are likely to be more unstable and more likely to fall.
  • Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.
  • Don’t walk, ride your bike or drive through flood water.
  • If you are trapped by flash flooding, seek refuge in the highest available place and ring 000 if you need rescue.
  • Be aware that run-off from rainfall in fire affected areas may behave differently and be more rapid. It may also contain debris such as ash, soil, trees and rocks.
  • After bushfires, heavy rain and the loss of foliage can make the ground soft and heavy, leading to a greater chance of landslides.
  • Unplug computers and appliances.
  • Avoid using the phone during the storm.
  • Stay indoors away from windows, and keep children and pets indoors as well.
  • Stay vigilant and monitor conditions. Note that the landscape may have changed following bushfires.
  • For emergency help in floods and storms, ring the SES (NSW and ACT) on 132 500.

The next warning is due to be issued by 5:25 pm.

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