Updated 9:53 am, Friday, April 24
Cooranbong, New South Wales
Heavy rains and strong winds have caused havoc across New South Wales’ east coast, with thousands of homes still without power in Sydney, Central Coast and the Hunter Region.
The “once in a decade storm” has also affected a number of Adventist Church entities.
Avondale College of Higher Education’s Lake Macquarie campus in Cooranbong closed for the reaminder of the week after losing power on Tuesday. Classes are expected to resume on Monday.
Two generators were brought onto the campus to keep the College’s cafeteria running for boarding students during the blackout.
A special Anzac Evensong concert planned for this Saturday evening at Avondale College Church has been cancelled. The Avondale Conservatorium is looking at rescheduling the concert to a later date.
A fallen tree at Avondale College.
Avondale School cancelled its classes on Tuesday and remains closed. It has not been confirmed when the school will reopen.
Teachers and students at Central Coast Adventist School in Erina were sent home on Tuesday afternoon before the storm settled in. The school resumed normal operations on Wednesday.
So far there have been no reports of Adventist Church buildings being seriously damaged in the storms. The North New South Wales Conference office in Wallsend suffered minor damage after a tree collasped on the building. The office also lost power for a couple of days.
The Greater Sydney Conference office in Epping also lost power for a brief period.
A number of church members’ homes have suffered extensive damage, with reports of trees collapsing on houses on the Central Coast due to the cyclonic winds.
Many church members’ homes across the affected regions are still without power. Mobile phone reception, which was lost for a few days in the worst hit areas, has been restored.
All of Cooranbong has been without power since Tuesday evening.
The Daily Telegraph reported yesterday the death toll from the storms has risen to “at least eight”.
The State Emergency Service (SES) has advised people to stay away from flooded areas after three people were killed in floodwaters in Dungog on Tuesday.
The body of an 86-year-old woman has also been recovered after her car was swept away in floodwaters in Maitland on Wednesday morning.
News outlets say the recovery effort after the storms is “expected to take several days”. The SES has received more than 10,000 calls for help since the storms began on Monday.