A blanket of ice closes Escort Way between Eugowra, Forbes | Your photos, video

The Escort Way was closed for a number of hours on Wednesday evening after heavy hail and rain hit the area between Forbes and Eugowra. 

Police reported that the water over the road was inches deep about 20km this side of Eugowra, and photographs show a thick blanket of white hailstones on the road about 15km from Forbes. 

Emergency services were called on Wednesday afternoon to reports of dangerously icy conditions. 

Fifteen kilometres from Forbes on the Escort Way, Lex and Sally Crosby measured 108mm of rain in about two hours and their property was flooded.

The lucerne and oats they have irrigated through a desperately dry winter were smothered by the hail.

It's a blow, as the lucerne would have been ready to cut for cattle feed next week, but that crop will come back with Spring warmth and good moisture in the soil.

Lex Crosby walks through floodwater and hail on his property.

Even on Thursday morning, Forbes SES controller Roc Walshaw said the Eugowra hills “looked like the Snowy Mountains”.

The SES team was at work at a Mackays Creek Road property, shovelling ice off a carport that had collapsed onto a car under the weight of the hail.

The damaging storm appears to have gone in a fairly narrow band, heavy hail was also recorded through to Cookamidgera.

​Forbes airport recorded 17mm of rain between 2 and 3.30pm, while a business in Tobias Street recorded 37mm. 

The airport recorded a total 30mm of rain by 9am Thursday. For those properties under it, it’s a welcome follow up to 26mm on October 5.

Bailey Cain filmed the hail storm on the Escort Way

Essential Energy crews were kept busy in Bogan Gate, Cookamidgera, Parkes, Peak Hill, Tullamore, Yarrabandai and surrounding areas when the storm caused power outages for homes and businesses.

Essential Energy’s northern community relations manager, David Crough, said crews worked as quickly as safety allowed to restore power for customers.

“The storm caused a large number of faults, including blown fuses, fallen powerlines and a faulty transformer, across a wide area,” he said.

“Additional crews and equipment from Dubbo and Tottenham were brought in to assist our Parkes crews.”

The Cookamidgera area was the first impacted with 65 homes and businesses experiencing an unplanned power outage between 7.08pm and 11.02pm.

“Peak Hill was the hardest hit area with quite a number of separate faults being caused by the storms,” David said.

Peak Hill was first impacted by outages at 10.23pm Wednesday while Bogan Gate was first impacted at 10.59pm.

The storms also caused blackouts for thousands of other customers across a wide area of NSW, including south of Forbes and Eugowra, Cowra and east of Young.

“While customers made quite a number of unplanned power outage reports on Wednesday, new reports have continued to come in throughout Thursday morning,” David said.

“Crews have been working to restore power for customers after the storm and hope to have power restored to all customers by late Thursday afternoon.”

Essential Energy reminds the public to report fallen or damaged powerlines immediately by calling 13 20 80 and to stay at least eight metres away from the line and anything in contact with it.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank customers for their understanding as we worked to restore power after the storm,” David said.