Snowfall in Katoomba on Saturday morning, August 10, 2019. Snow and wild winds continue to lash south east Australia. Picture: Simon Walker-Smith
Snowfall in Katoomba on Saturday morning, August 10, 2019. Snow and wild winds continue to lash south east Australia. Picture: Simon Walker-Smith

Drivers warned to stay off the road

Commuters have been warned not to get behind the wheel as wild winds and snow continue to lash parts of NSW making for dangerous driving conditions.

State Emergency Service members have been responding to hundreds of calls over the weekend, working with police and the Rural Fire Service in areas in the southeastern half of the state as more rain and snow is expected to fall throughout the day, a NSW SES spokeswoman said.

Police are urging motorists to drive with extreme caution after snow-affected roads caused multiple collisions near Jindabyne.

The Blue Mountains, a rugged region west of Sydney in Australia's New South Wales, is especially affected.

Wild weather has hit a large part of the state from Alipne areas up to the Southern highlands, metropolitan area, Hunter and the central west.

"NSW SES is encouraging people to drive safely around the Blue Mountains. If you live in the area and don't need to travel then please postpone your trip," SES public affairs officer, Ilana Pender-Rose told news.com.au.

Motorists are encouraged to park their cars undercover away from trees, stay away from fallen power lines, check for road closures, to drive safe especially around the Blue Mountains and watch out for black ice if travelling up to the snow fields.

One incident involved a police car and three other vehicles, travelling at about 30km/h on Friday.

The bureau says the last of a series of cold fronts sweeping across the state will clear on early Monday.

The three cars attempted to stop but collided after sliding on the roads along Alpine way.

There were also about eight other vehicles that lost control along the road and became involved in the incident.

Another five managed to avoid the collision but became stuck in snow on the side of the road.

Snow and ice continue to affect roads in the Blue Mountains, including Jenolan Caves Rd which is closed between DuckmaloiRd and Jenolan Caves, and roads in and around Oberon.

In the state's south, snow and ice are affecting roads in Thredbo, the Snowy Mountains Highway area, and the Kosciuszko NationalPark.

The Great Western Highway between Mount Victoria and Lithgow remains open.

 

 

 

 

 

NEW SOUTH WALES

The State Emergency Service NSW Blue Mountains Unit set up refuge stations early on Saturday for people stuck on the highway.

"Because of heavy snowfall there were very dangerous conditions and some motorists were stuck on the highway," SES Public Affairs Officer, Ilana Pender-rose told news.com.au.

State Emergency Service New South Wales has received some 1167 requests for help since the wild weather event began on Thursday, with a lot of these spread over the southeastern half of the state, especially the Blue Mountains.

NSW SES teams in 4WD's continue to patrol the snow impacted areas. There are also 10 field teams with first aid and emergency supplies helping people in the Greater Sydney area.

NSW SES teams in 4WD’s continue to patrol the snow impacted areas around the Blue Mountains. Picture: NSW SES
NSW SES teams in 4WD’s continue to patrol the snow impacted areas around the Blue Mountains. Picture: NSW SES

The vigorous winds were expected to stick around today, but will ease later as the strong gusts move over the state.

"There is a Damaging Wind Warning out today, especially for the northern ranges of NSW, as we are seeing gusts over 90 kilometres per hour hitting the state," BOM extreme weather spokesperson, Grace Legge, said.

"Luckily the wind will be easing today, as the last of the cold air masses move through".

The bureau says the last of a series of cold fronts sweeping across the state will clear on early Monday.

Authorities have urged people to remain vigilant as conditions will remain poor on the roads, including fallen trees.

The Bureau of Meteorology on Saturday predicted wind gusts exceeding 90km/h for the Illawarra, parts of the South Coast, theHunter, Northern Tablelands, Southern Tablelands, eastern parts of the Central Tablelands and the Snowy Mountains regions.

A strong wind warning remains in place for Sydney's closed waters and the Byron and Coffs coast, as swells are expected to move up the east coast of the country as the low pressure systems moves.

The southerly swell is expected to produce waves between three to four metres.

VICTORIA

Temperatures remain freezing in Melbourne as the intense wind chill factor made it feel well below zero in some parts of the state.

We are seeing snow at "low levels" as that last pull of cold air moves through the state.


- With AAP


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