A man has died in a tragic car accident during a freak storm that lashed the Penrith area this afternoon.
The storm, which came after temperatures had initially soared above 40 degrees in Penrith, has caused major damage across the region.
The CareFlight helicopter was called to the Great Western Highway at Emu Plains, near Emerald Street, with two people trapped in a car that was crushed by a tree.
A woman was freed from the wreckage and has been airlifted to hospital.
Police have confirmed that a man trapped inside the car has passed away.
The Great Western Highway remains closed eastbound near Emerald Street.
Emu Plains was among the worst hit suburbs with eight people evacuated from factory units after a wall collapsed and a roof was damaged in Smith Street.
One worker from the factory described the storm as being “like a tornado”.
The SES has already received nearly 100 calls for help from local residents.
Meanwhile, a tree has fallen across The Northern Road near Fourth Avenue in Cranebrook.
Similar incidents were also reported in Erskine Park, where a tree fell on Erskine Park Road near Swallow Drive, and St Clair, where wires are down across Luddenham Road at Mamre Road.
Damage has been reported at the Cables Wake Park in Penrith.
Thousands of homes are also without power across Penrith, Emu Plains and Leonay.
Some residences in Jordan Springs, Llandilo, Kingswood and Shanes Park are also without power.
Members of the public seeking emergency assistance during a flood or storm should call the NSW State Emergency Service on 132 500, or visit their website: www.ses.nsw.gov.au.
MORE TO COME
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Senior Writer. He has more than 15 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations.