December saw demand for roof repairs in Sydney skyrocket following a sudden hailstorm, where tennis ball-sized stones rained down on Sydney, as well as other part of the state.
According to the Insurance Council of Australia, the repair bill, as of early January, sat at around $673 million, with the majority of the said claims reportedly having to deal with vehicular damage.
The ICA elaborated, saying that about 3/4ths of the claims were related to vehicle damage, as homes and businesses took damage to their roofs, awnings, as well as their solar panels. The hailstorm hit Berowra Heights the worst, while Liverpool and Tamworth, in the southwest and northeast, respectively
A month later, roof repairs in Sydney got busy again as Sydney got hit by lightning and severe rain, resulting in flooding, as well as damage to properties, and roads being flooded. Less than 7 weeks following the hailstorm that hit NSW, a 30-minute deluge hit the state, dropping almost 50mm worth of rain, which was then followed by more turbulent weather later in the day.
The rainstorm hit so hard, it managed to take out power in at least 45,000 homes across the city of Sydney at its peak, with thousands of people still without power in the following weekend.
The turbulent weather led to repair crews getting busy for days, ensuring that public works were still in good condition and ensuring that homes were reconnected to the power grid.
Several buildings lost their roofs, like the Parramatta North Public School. The school’s roof, which were taken off by strong winds, landed on nearby roads after cutting some power lines. Emergency services were forced to come in, and deal with the damage as soon as possible.
A Senior Forecaster for the Bureau of Meteorology, Jake Phillips, noted how heavy rain, exceeding 35mm in half an hour, was an annual occurrence, happening once or twice every summer in Sydney. The oddity, he says, is that several individual suburbs, which also saw 40mm+ rainfall, only see that kind of weather once every decade.
The severe weather resulted in the SES advising Aussies to keep their property, cars included, in cover, and to secure their items.