Thousands of homes lose power in storm

Strong winds have lashed the NSW coast, cutting power to about 20,000 homes in Sydney's north and 19,000 on the Central Coast.

Residents between Palm Beach and Freshwater lost power early on Sunday afternoon and, about an hour later, State Emergency Service volunteers were called to 120 jobs, predominantly in the northern beaches.

This is expected to climb to about 300 by the end of the Sunday, Fairfax reports.

"This storm has hit Sydney so quickly, all our volunteers have just had to scramble together to get each job covered as quickly as possible," SES spokesman Todd Burns told Fairfax.

Responding to customers on Twitter, Ausgrid said it may take "a few hours" to restore power.

"It may take a few more hours depending on damage and location. Sorry for delays today. storm came thru fast and furious," Ausgrid said on Twitter.

Wind gusting up to 90 km/h was recorded at Terry Hills and 16 millimetres of rain fell in about 15 minutes at nearby Hornsby, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said.

"The cell was moving so quickly it didn't have a chance to drop too much," a bureau spokesman told AAP.

Further north, winds blew across Evans Head at 115km/h and through Casino at 107 km/h.

At Williamtown, near Newcastle, wind ripped through at 95 km/h, and speeds between 90 and 100 km/h were recorded at Gunnedah, Glenn Innes on the northern tablelands, Scone and in the upper Hunter regions.

The storm is now well gone and the BOM is forecasting dry, sunny days in the high 20s for the start of the week after a cool Sunday night.

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