Leading scientists advise that climate change will cause increases to the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. The storms of the past week show how important it is for cities to be ready for such events.
Many people have raised concern for the City's homeless, who are sleeping rough in this stormy weather. The City's homelessness team set up an emergency shelter at Abraham Mott Hall in Millers Point last night as a sanctuary for those with nowhere else to go.
City staff worked with Missionbeat, Police and the NSW Department of Family and Community Services throughout the night. Missionbeat helped transport those who wanted to use the City's shelter. Members of the City's homelessness team tended to people throughout the night, giving them food and blankets donated by the IBIS Hotel.
The City's maintenance team has also done a wonderful job, removing he debris of damaged trees and rubbish from our streets, including many upturned umbrellas.
Staff will continue to monitor and respond to reported issues and clean up and secure the areas for the community's safety. If you would like to report an incident, you can do so online here: www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/council/contact-us.
City staff have already dealt with many incidents. Yesterday a large tree from Shannon Reserve in Surry Hills blocked three lanes of traffic on Foveaux St, but was quickly cleared away. And a tree from a neighbouring property fell onto Broughton Street Kindergarten in Glebe - no one was hurt but as a precaution, the kindergarten's children and staff will relocate to Ultimo Community Centre for the next two days.
Our parks have been monitored regularly and wind impacts and damage have been minor. Over the coming days we will also offer any support we can to neighbouring areas and cities, if required.
The City works year-round to limit the damage of severe weather like we're currently experiencing. The City has a comprehensive program to inspect and maintain all our trees and spends around $2.8 million on street tree maintenance a year. This includes inspections, pruning, removal and other associated maintenance. Qualified arborists inspect every street tree at least once a year and action is taken when necessary to remove trees assessed to be an unacceptable risk to public safety.
While this weather persists, please be safe on the roads, paths and in our parks. Don't drive in flood water and if you can help it, don't park cars under trees. Stay away from fallen power lines and alert authorities to hazards you have seen.
For information on public transport: www.transportnsw.info
For information on Sydney traffic: www.livetraffic.com
For information on flood and severe weather warnings: www.emergency.nsw.gov.au
For updates on power outages: www.ausgrid.com.au
For general help in a flood or storm, call the SES: 132 500
Picture courtesy of: @LifeInSurryHills.