Thousands without power, buildings damaged in Perth

More than 60,000 Western Australians are without power this morning, most of those in Perth, after a fierce storm ripped through southern parts of the state.

The wild weather is a result of remnants of ex-tropical cyclone Mangga, combining with a cold front and trough. The state is in for a second day of wild weather, with the south to bear the brunt on Monday.

“We had exceptionally dangerous weather in WA yesterday with winds well in excess of 100 km/h, dust storms being whipped up and roofs damaged but the wild winds in the region,” said Sky News Weather metrologist Robert Sharpe.

On the other side of the continent, a lingering rain band is expected to bring torrential rain to parts of coastal New South Wales with up to 50mm falling over the next couple of days.

But the real action overnight has been in the west where the ex-tropical cyclone wrought destruction across populated areas.

The biggest recorded gust on Sunday was 117kph at Gooseberry Hill, in Perth’s east, at 3.30pm, while 113kph was recorded at Geraldton Airport.

Geraldton, north of Perth, was particularly badly hit with pictures emerging of smashed windscreens, ripped awnings and buildings demolished by the fierce gusts.

Dust storms rolled through the city. Many areas along the west coast recorded their highest tides of the year. Tens of thousands were also left without power.

In Perth 44,000 residents saw blackouts with a further 13,000 around Geraldton and pockets elsewhere, including Margaret River.

The weather bureau has issued a warning of possible flooding and significant beach erosion, as the high winds combine with sea swells and waves. “Peak wave heights in excess of eight metres (are) predicted for the southwest on Monday, combining with higher than usual tides, and leading to significant beach erosion,” the bureau said in a statement.

“Storm tides are also likely to be dangerous and could lead to coastal inundation.”

Residents have been warned to unplug electrical appliances, avoid using landline phones if there is lightning, and stay away from windows.

Sky’s Mr Sharpe said the worst seems to be over for the coast but the wet conditions are moving inland.

“Today there will still be dangerous conditions but it will be an easing trend for much of the west coast.

“There will be heavy rain and thunderstorms in Kimberly and Pilbara with up to 50mm of rain. It’s the dry season remember so it’s rare to see this kind of rainfall.”

Heavy falls of rain are also likely down the west coast from Kalbarri to Albany with totals of around 20-30mm and some isolated falls up to 60mm. Much of the agricultural areas are likely to receive falls in the range of 10-20mm.

The other part of the country expecting some dangerous conditions today is New South Wales. In Sydney, expect to see up to 35mm of rain on Monday and then around another 15mm tomorrow as the state’s wet spell on the coast continues.

The bureau said “a deep and complex” low pressure system over the Tasman Sea will see the downpours accompanied by strong winds and large and powerful surf. However, the conditions are likely to remain focused on the coastal fringe.

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