Rescue of up to 300 motorists in the Blue Mountains and Central Tablelands
12 October 2012, 1:36PM AET
The Great Western Highway has been closed by NSW Police between Bullaburra and Mt Victoria as well as the Bells Line of Road due to heavy snow and ice on the roadway.
Up to 300 vehicles and occupants have been stranded between Katoomba and Mt Victoria. The NSW SES and NSWRFS are currently transporting stranded motorists to refuge. Welfare refuges are being established at Medlow Bath, Katoomba and Blackheath. Four NSW SES 4WD vehicles with chains and three NSWRFS 4WD vehicles with chains are involved. Snowfalls in the Blue Mountains are expected to cease within the next couple of hours. Motorists are advised to aviod the area and there is no information as to when roads will be re-opened at the moment.
It is advised that you regularly check the NSW Roads and Martime Live Traffic site at http://livetraffic.rta.nsw.gov.au or call the Roads Information line on 132 701 if you are required to travel to the affected area. We would also like to report that 'Black Ice' is a major issue on many of the roads up in the mountains and may make the drive home for many motorists problematic. Extreme caution is reccommended.
Winds started to impact Sydney starting from the south from 1100hrs and are expected to move into the Central Coast and Hunter early to mid-afternoon. Winds are forecast in the metropolitan area with an average of 65km/hr and gusts up and over 100km/hrs. The low will start to move offshore as it moves northwards. Rain is expected to decrease as the system approaches Sydney due to the change in topography. The Hunter and Metropolitan NSW SES Regions are operationally prepared to respond to the forecast operational activity.