'Catastrophic' hail storm hammers Sydney

The repair bill for damage caused by the "catastrophic" hailstorm that struck Sydney and other parts of New South Wales last night is now expected to exceed $A80 million.

More than 15,000 people have lodged claims so far, with three-quarters of claims relating to motor vehicle damage, the Insurance Council of Australia said on Friday.

The ICA expected the number to rise throughout the day after declaring the storm a "catastrophe" overnight.

Tennis ball-sized hailstones smashed into homes and cars in Sydney's west around 5pm on Thursday, while golf ball-sized stones battered the city's inner suburbs less than an hour later.

Windshields were smashed, roofs damaged and both cars and homes impacted by flash flooding.

NSW SES has received calls to about 1800 jobs through the night, with more than 500 volunteers responding.

"We've had lots of jobs so far where the house is uninhabitable with several rooms and ceilings collapsing," spokesman Christopher Mawn told reporters on Friday.

"We were just recovering from a previous storm cell as well, so we had outstanding jobs from there. It's been a busy few weeks for SES."

About 500 jobs remained outstanding, Mr Mawn said.

The primary thunderstorm which affected the Sydney basin began to ease about 7.45pm.

Endeavour Energy reported 25,500 homes and businesses in its network were without power from the Blue Mountains, through Sydney's west and up to the Hawkesbury.

About 5500 customers were still without power on Friday morning.

Around 200 electrical hazards were left in the wake of the storm after power lines came down.

People should not go near fallen powerlines, Endeavour Energy warned.

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