Thousands of residents were left without power yesterday after gale-force winds ripped trees out of the ground and a storm surge flooded low-lying areas of the south coast. The “once-in-a-decade” storm that ravaged Geraldton on Sunday started hitting the Great Southern late that afternoon, with winds escalating into the evening. From 7pm on Sunday to midday yesterday, Albany was lashed by gusts in excess of 70km/h. SES volunteers were called to a house in Yakamia where winds had pulled off the roof of a front veranda. The wild weather peaked early yesterday morning, when barometric pressure dropped to 982hPa and gusts of 91km/h were recorded at Albany Airport. About 15mm of rain fell in Albany as the deep low pressure system passed to the south of WA, but areas to the north, such as Rocky Gully, had more than double that. The storm also wreaked havoc on the temperature, with the daily maximum of 16.2C coming about 6am and the daily minimum of 9.1C at 1.30pm. Swells were forecast to reach 10m off Albany last night, with the Bureau of Meteorology issuing a warning for dangerous conditions on the coast. In a city accustomed to being lashed by strong winds and big swells, yesterday’s storm surge was perhaps the most dramatic element of the previous 48 hours. By 11.30am, the tide in Albany had reached 1.77m — almost half a metre above the predicted 1.31m high tide. The surge submerged parts of the Emu Point foreshore and had motorists reporting water over the road in Lower King and Little Grove. By 4pm yesterday, Western Power had managed to restore power to about 2800 residents in an area from Ocean Beach to Cuthbert. There were still outages in Yakamia, Centennial Park, Napier, Kalgan, Mt Barker and Ocean Beach.