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Trains grind to a halt amid storm chaos

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Perth and the South West have been lashed by wild weather overnight, with wind gusts of more than 135km/h uprooting trees, plunging roads into chaos and grinding trains to a halt.

More than 18,000 homes and businesses have been left without power after a strong storm cell barrelled through WA, bringing with it a “twice in a year” weather system, huge downpours and even hail in parts.

In Armadale trains were brought to a sudden stop after high winds ripped a tree from the ground and flung onto the tracks in Gosnells.

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It forced four separate services to a halt, with passengers onboard describing the terrifying moment they were thrust into darkness as the train’s lights went out.

Camera IconA sinkhole opened up on a road in Byford. Credit: WA Incident Alerts/WA Incident Alerts

The Perth Transport Authority this morning said the damage would likely take hours to repair.

Further south in Rockingham residents woke up to find a large fence that had been torn from its hinges on their roof, while nearby a felled tree blocked part of a roadway.

Multiple people in the area have reported roof damage and flooding, adding to the more than 179 people who have called the State Emergency Services for help since Monday afternoon.

A tree is blocking Railway Parade in West Leederville.
Camera IconA tree is blocking Railway Parade in West Leederville. Credit: Daniel Wilkins/The West Australian

Most requests, in particular from southern suburbs such as Rockingham, Byford, Success, Spearwood and Gosnells, were for help with water ingress and ceiling and roof damage.

Suburbs across Perth were flooded by huge downpours, with the most rain to fall in the metro area since 9am yesterday recorded in Bickley, 57mm.

The Bureau of Meteorology gauge at Jandakot Airport filled to 47mm and the Swanbourne one to 36.4mm, while down south Jarrahdale’s topped 84mm.

The deluge left an oval in Hammond Park completely submerged and transformed the Swan River into a wave pool.

In Perth on Fitzgerald Street video footage shows cars braving roads resembling shallow rivers, while over at Rottnest Island residents were forced to put out sandbags to protect their homes.

In Victoria Park strong winds blew a metal awning onto the roof of a commercial premises on Albany Highway.

Further north in Bullsbrook a patio was picked up by intense gusts of wind and ripped from its Auger Place home.

A tree has fallen on a car in Lesmurdie.
Camera IconA tree has fallen on a car in Lesmurdie. Credit: WA Incident Alerts/WA Incident Alerts

In Wilson on Bemurrah Close a tree has fallen onto someone’s roof, while in Lathlain trees across Orrong Road at Francisco Place are blocking one lane of traffic.

In Canning Vale two lanes have been clocked by felled trees at Nicholson Road and Eucalyptus Boulevard.

Residents in the southern part of the State are being warned of a strong and squally westerly airstream in the wake of yesterday’s cold front, with the rough weather expected to stick around until at least midday.

At Cape Leeuwin winds peaked at 135km/h, while Busselton Jetty was battered by gusts up to 124km/h.

Garden Island and Gooseberry Hill were hit by 100 km/h gusts. Those on Rottnest copped a 98km/h blast.

Almost 4000 Western Power customers in Port Kennedy, Warnbro and Waikiki have woken up without electricity today.

A further 3000-plus residents in Baldivis, Karnup and Hopeland have also been left without power.

A further 12,000 outages have been reported in dozens of suburbs including Fremantle, Golden Bay, Maida Vale, High Wycombe, Forrestfield, Walpole, Denmark, Kalbarri, Leeman, Donnybrook, Bridgetown, Roleystone, Yanchep, Morley and Margaret River.

According to the BoM, the main risk to residents this morning is the damaging winds, which are expected to average between 60-70km/h with gusts topping 110km/h.

The western parts of WA under the current severe weather warning will remain under threat throughout the afternoon, however, in Perth conditions are expected to start to ease from the west coast from about 10am.

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