BREAKING NEWS: Sydney storm catastrophe declared

BREAKING NEWS: Sydney storm catastrophe declared

BREAKING NEWS: Sydney storm catastrophe declared The toll of the storm that rocked Sydney yesterday is beginning to be felt as more than 19, 500 insurance claims have already been lodged, according to the ICA.

In a statement released this morning, the ICA said that as of 7am, insurers had received more than 19, 500 claims with losses so far estimated at $129 million.

The council has also officially declared a catastrophe for storm-affected areas in the Central Coast, Hunter, Greater Sydney Metropolitan and Illawarra regions.

ICA CEO, Rob Whelan, noted that the catastrophe declaration enables industry resources to be fully harnessed and that he expects the amount of claims and cost to continue to rise.

“These storms have caused damage across large parts of NSW,” Whelan said in a statement.

“Though most claims so far have been for low-level property damage, mainly from water and wind damage to homes and damage to cars, insurers are also receiving claims for severe damage to houses and roofs.

“Claims are also being received for stormwater inundation.

“I expect these numbers will rise quickly as home owners and businesses assess the damage to their properties and lodge claims with their insurer or through their insurance broker.”
 
Whelan stressed that insurers will prioritise claims in a bid to help those affected.
 
“All claims from these storms will be prioritised. Insurers are focused on handling claims and undertaking assessments as soon as possible.”

Steve Pearce, NSW State Emergency Service deputy commissioner told The Sydney Morning Herald that the storm had caused millions of dollars’ worth of damage but with heavy rains forecasted for most of Wednesday, the full extent is still unknown.

"Damage costs for this event are already in the millions and are expected to rise as the storms continue to strike this evening," Pearce said yesterday as wind and rain battered the city and parts of New South Wales last night.

Three people were killed in Dungog in the Hunter region as houses were washed away by flash flooding following the heaviest rainfall in the town in 100 years.

200, 000 homes and businesses across the state were reportedly without power throughout yesterday and the Northern Beaches are on high alert as Manly Dam spills over into nearby waterways.