Illawarra weather: all the wild photos from our windiest day this year

Wild winds passing the 100km/h mark pulled roofs off houses, cut power to hundreds of homes and collapsed garages on top of cars across the Illawarra on Friday.

The Crown Street surgery of well-known obstetrician Dr John Walton had its roof ripped off at around 11am in the strong winds.

An aerial of the roofless office in Crown St, Wollongong.

An aerial of the roofless office in Crown St, Wollongong.

The 20 metre by 30 metre metal roof landed on a neighbouring X-ray centre, as well as a bus stop and Crown Street.

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Incredibly there were no injuries on what is a busy section of Crown Street adjacent to Wollongong Hospital.

Paul Bottele, who managed the  building for Dr Walton, was on the scene.

”It’s a miracle no one was hurt,” Mr Bottele said.

“That’s what we were most concerned about.”

The wind ripped off the roof of well-known obstetrician Dr John Walton's surgery on Crown Street. Picture: Robert Peet

The wind ripped off the roof of well-known obstetrician Dr John Walton's surgery on Crown Street. Picture: Robert Peet

He said workers in the building at the time heard the roof being torn away.

“Thank God it landed where it did,” Mr Bottele said.

“It could have hit cars or people at the bus stop.”

The incident threw traffic into chaos as police closed Crown Street in both directions between Denison and Osbourne streets.

A carport at an apartment block opposite Wollongong Hospital collapsed in high winds. Picture: Rob Peet

A carport at an apartment block opposite Wollongong Hospital collapsed in high winds. Picture: Rob Peet

Crown Street remained closed for most of the day as the State Emergency Service (SES) crews decided to wait for the winds to die down before attempting to remove the metal roofing.

Just over 100 metres along Crown Street, fire crews and the SES were also called to an apartment block where a carport at the rear had collapsed, crushing a car.

The wind reached speeds of 104km/h at Albion Park and 102km/h at Bellambi and cut the power to thousands of homes and business across the Illawarra.

Figtree Grove shopping centre lost power for a short period in the early afternoon.

At around 11.30am almost 2000 premises in the Warrawong area had lost power, and 1200 houses lost their electricity in Corrimal in the early afternoon.

Most customers had power restored by 5pm.

As of 4pm, Illawarra SES crews had responded to 162 calls for help, most of which were for fallen trees or damaged roofs.

Wollongong was the worst-hit suburb, with the SES receiving 81 calls.

Late on Friday afternoon, the Bureau of Meteorology was expecting the winds to abate slightly on Saturday, with gusts of 50-60km/h expected.

The winds were predicted to weaken substantially by Sunday, which should be a mostly sunny day.

The story All the wild photos from Wollongong’s windiest day this year first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.

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