The Heat Is Online

Freak Windstorms Lash Australia

Third Major Windstorm strikes Australia

weather.com, Jan. 28, 2001

The third major storm in 10 days has smashed into eastern Australia and is being blamed for at least one death and 27 injuries.

Authorities said a 22-year-old man was killed in the Queensland state capital of Brisbane, when he touched a downed power line.

The storm blasted into the region late Wednesday, packing winds of up to 60 mph. It tore off roofs and knocked down trees.

About 60,000 homes in the Brisbane area were without electricity.

Authorities issued natural disaster declarations for the hardest hit areas. Some of the worst damage is in the isolated town of Casino, about 370 miles north of Sydney.

Flooding also was reported in parts of Sydney, where crews are still cleaning up after a storm that hit the area Monday night.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Winds tear, whip and snap at Sydney, Australia

weather.com, Jan. 16, 2001

Clean up is well underway in the Syndey, Australia area, where a windstorm earlier in the week prompted government officials to issue a disaster declaration.

The storm struck Monday during a heat wave that has sent temperatures soaring to 122 degrees Fahrenheit in the Sydney area. The heat was blamed for at least 100 bush fires in New South Wales state.

The windstorm toppled trees, snapped utility lines and left as many as 78,000 homes and businesses without power. Several people were injured, but no storm-related deaths were reported.

"We knew it was coming, but we didn't expect it to hit with the ferocity it did," said Derek Archer, a spokesman for the State Emergency Services (SES).

The damage is scattered through a 187-mile stretch of coastline in and around Sydney, Australia's largest city.

The SES received more than 3300 calls for help. With such a high call volume, only a third to a half of them had been answered by late Tuesday night, local time.

Power should be restored to most customers by Wednesday afternoon, according to Integral Energy, the area's main power supplier.

The disaster declaration makes the state eligible for government assistance to help pay for the damage. It's estimated that storm repairs will cost $12 million in Australian dollars. That's equivalent to about $6.6 million in the United States.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Freak Windstorm in Australia


weather.com, Jan. 16, 2001

A freak windstorm has caused millions of dollars in damage in the Sydney, Australia area and forced officials to issue a disaster declaration for the region.

The storm struck Monday during a heat wave that has sent temperatures soaring to 122 degrees Fahrenheit in the Sydney area. The heat was blamed for at least 100 bush fires in New South Wales state.

The windstorm toppled trees, snapped utility lines and left as many as 78,000 homes without power.

The damage is scattered through a 187-mile stretch of coastline in and around Sydney, which is Australia's largest city.

The disaster declaration makes the state eligible for government assistance to help pay for the damage. It's estimated that storm repairs will cost $12 million in Australian dollars. That's equivalent to about $6.6 million in the United States.

There were no reports of major injuries during the storm. A nine-year-old boy was killed when a fence fell on him, but police declined to link the incident to the weather.

All but five of the bush fires had been contained by late Tuesday local time.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.