Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated as a result of the torrential rain that is lashing Australia’s east coast, and forecasters are warning that the crazy weather will only get worse.
As the state of New South Wales is battered by a severe downpour that has caused widespread flooding, authorities have ordered more than 32,000 citizens to leave their homes.
Numerous people needed to be rescued from fast rising waters along the Hawkesbury and Nepean Rivers on the north and western outskirts of Sydney on Sunday night as the torrential downpour that was already threatening to ruin numerous houses and businesses worsened.
Locals in several areas of Yarramundi and Penrith were given orders to leave for higher ground in the middle of the night.
The warning warned that staying put could leave you without access to water, electricity, and other necessities and make rescue efforts impossible.
In the past 24 hours, 83 individuals, including a woman and her child, have been snatched away to safety, according to the NSW State Emergency Service.
However, despite a heroic bystander’s efforts to save him, one man tragically perished after his kayak capsized in a violent flood at Abbotsford on Sydney’s Parramatta River.
Just around 2:45 on Sunday, emergency personnel arrived on the scene in Sydney’s Inner West and saw a man trying to remain afloat.
The kayaker’s identity was sought by police, who also prepared a report for the coroner, but the man tragically perished at the hands of the rising water.
It occurs as ‘life-threatening’ storms intensify throughout the east coast, warning millions of citizens to stay inside and postpone their travel plans.
Transport for NSW has encouraged commuters to stay away from unnecessary travel on Monday due to the network’s impact from the rain and unpredictable weather.
On Monday, the state will once again be battered by persistent rain and strong winds, with at least 100mm expected to fall over Sydney and 150mm in Penrith.
According to the instructions, that system would arrive, cross the coast before midnight, and then begin to diminish, she said.
While the rain was expected to stop on Tuesday, a SES official predicted that things would likely become worse before they got better.
During the “rapidly-evolving” flooding storm, a burst of heavy rain is predicted to keep rescuers busy as many attempt to flee their houses.
In the south, west, and north of Sydney, there are 43 evacuation orders that are thought to affect at least 32,000 people.
More than 500,000 individuals have been urged to leave flood-prone areas, though, in order to avoid getting trapped by rapidly rising floodwater.
Residents in Lansvale, Moorebank, Georges Hill, Woronora, Chipping Norton, and Warwick Farm were instructed to leave right away.
The SES issued a warning: “If you stay in the region, you risk being cut off from power, water, and other necessary services, and it might be too dangerous to rescue you.”
On the southern bank of the Hawkesbury River, evacuation orders were eventually issued for portions of North Richmond East, Ebenezer, Sackville North, and Leets Vale.
Additionally, evacuation alerts were dispatched to East Hills, Picnic Point, Penrith, Emu Plains, Mulgoa, Jamisontown, North Richmond, Pitt Town, Cornwallis, and Cattai.
This weekend, some areas of NSW have already had rainfall that is more than three times the July average, and the SES has already fielded more than 1,800 calls for assistance.
If residents become stranded with no way out, two defense force helicopters are ready to assist with rescue efforts.
A lady and her six-week-old child were moved to a higher location out of concern that she would become trapped in Wilberforce on the Hawkesbury River bank.
Also scheduled for rescue was a group of kids from a summer camp in the Wollondilly Shire, south of Sydney.
Steph Cooke, minister of emergency services, resilience, and flood recovery, advised citizens to check weather advisories before turning in for the night on Sunday and stay in touch with neighbors.
Please don’t wait for an evacuation order if your community has previously flooded, she advised.
“Do not assume that you will be secure tonight just because you were safe in 2021.” Since the situation is constantly changing, it’s possible that locations that have never flooded will be affected.
According to Ms. Cooke, the area is in danger from a variety of sources, including landslips, coastal erosion, flash flooding, and riverine flooding.
Don’t jeopardize your life, the lives of your loved ones, or the lives of the emergency services volunteers who are showing up in large numbers, she urged.
“Last night was a long one,” I said. Our emergency service personnel and volunteers have had a very hard day so far, and tonight will be no different.
For the Hawkesbury and Nepean Rivers, major flood warnings have been issued, and for the Georges and Colo Rivers, moderate flood warnings are still in effect.
The metropolitan area, the Illawarra, the Hunter, the southern Mid-North Coast, and portions of the Central Tablelands are still under a severe weather warning.
Emergency kits should be packed now, according to NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York, in case households are required to leave during the night.
On Sunday night, meteorologists predict that the already torrential rain will worsen and that 100mm of additional rain might fall overnight in “several regions” of the already sodden state.
Ms. York issued a warning that water levels in the Georges, Hawkesbury, and Nepean rivers could peak higher than in earlier flood occurrences over the previous 18 months.
The situation might become “much worse,” she added, adding that just because it reached the front doorstep during the previous floods doesn’t mean it won’t grow worse quickly.
The Warragamba Dam spilled about 2 a.m. on Sunday after exceeding capacity sooner than anticipated and continuing to do so at a rate of 500 gigalitres per second.
The dam in Sydney’s west has reached higher levels than those seen during the flooding events in March, April, and March 2021 and 2022, respectively.
Just before 6 o’clock, the Nepean River at Wallacia in the state’s west went over its significant flood level of 11 m, and it is expected that levels will increase to 14 m soon.
Menangle and North Richmond are both experiencing significant flooding, and it is also expected to flood in Windsor, Sackville, and Wiseman’s Ferry.
The link between Sydney and the northern Hawkesbury is severed by the flooding of the Windsor Bridge, which is closed between Wilberforce Road and George Street.
In Menangle, in the Macarthur Region, levels crested just below those in April and went above the flood height reached in March (15.92m) (16.83m).
On Sunday, just before 8 a.m., the river reached its highest point of 16.1 m; it is now 14.98 m.
The flooding is anticipated to be worse than some of the levels observed during the previous three significant flood events in the Hawkesbury region, which began in March 2021.
The Bogan River, Wollombi Brook, and the Paterson River at Gostwyck all received flood warnings from BOM late on Sunday night.
North Richmond’s Terrace Rd residents were warned to evacuate by 4 p.m. on Sunday to avoid becoming stranded by flooding.
According to BOM, the significant flooding in the area was brought on by spills from the Warragamba Dam as well as inflows from the Upper Nepean River.
The Cabra-Vale Diggers Club in Canley Vale, the Narellan Family and Community Centre, the Gymea Tradies Club, the Richmond Club, and the North Richmond Community Centre are the five evacuation centers set up throughout Sydney.
A severe weather warning for wind gusts up to 90 km/h, destructive waves along the coast, and heavy rain causing flash floods was in effect according to the Bureau of Meteorology.
Strong winds are predicted to get stronger as the low pressure system causing the wet conditions travels along the coast.
More than 100mm of rain had fallen across vast areas of Sydney since the rainstorm started early on Saturday.
Over half of the city’s yearly rainfall—or nearly 600mm—has fallen in only two days in certain areas of the Illawarra.
In certain places, daily rainfall has been higher than usual for July.
At Holsworthy, 30 km southwest of the CBD, a woman who is said to be in her 20s was forced to cling to a tree for an hour to escape rising floodwaters.
According to Minister Cooke, an east coast low formed over the NSW coast, and he predicted that the heavy rain and flash flooding will last at least through Tuesday.
Flash floods, riverine flooding, and coastal erosion are now threats for Sydney, the Central Coast, the South Coast, and the Illawarra, she said.
As wet and wild weather persist, the minister has encouraged locals to put off travel along NSW’s central and southern coasts.
I humbly request that you reconsider your travel plans at this time to all villages between Newcastle and Batemans Bay, she said.
“If at all possible, stay at home. If you are in one of the affected areas, now is not the time to travel.
“While I absolutely appreciate that it comes at a bad time for many people and many families, at the end of the day we want everyone to be secure and if that means that you need to evaluate where you go for your holiday, perhaps postpone it or delay it simply by a few days,” the statement reads.
A number of highways are blocked throughout the state, including the Richmond, Windsor, and Yarramundi bridges in north-west Sydney are closed in both directions.
Between Governor Macquarie Drive and Nancy Ellis Leebold Drive, Newbridge Road and Milperra Road are blocked off.
Between Milperra Road and the Hume Highway, as well as between Wester Street and Cheatle Street, Henry Lawson Drive is closed.
After being devastated by flooding earlier this year, Camden was among the communities that were most severely affected by the floods. The deputy mayor claimed that flooding had become too commonplace.
“It’s catastrophic.” The worst possible deja vu, according to Paul Farrow.
“Here we are, confronting it once more for the fourth time.”
Earlier on Sunday, Ms. York warned locals to prepare for the worst, sandbag their homes, and move to the nearest evacuation center.
If you think you need sandbags, go to your neighborhood’s listing on the SES website or the local council website to obtain them, she advised, and cease preparing your home.
If you’re in a remote area, prepare an emergency evacuation kit including your identification documents and some food and drink.
“Take care of your domestic animals, make sure you have a plan, attempt to contact relatives and friends, and organize where you might go if you do need to evacuate,” the advice reads.
Ms. York warned locals to avoid floods and avoid attempting to cross them.
“The world is a very hazardous place.” Stay away from the floodwaters, and as always, we advise against driving through them, walking in them, and letting kids play nearby.
“The dams are beginning to spill since there is no room for the rain to accumulate there.” There is a possibility of flash flooding depending on where the rain is falling, and the rivers are flowing swiftly and dangerously.
“The community needs to be aware of a lot of risks, and I encourage you to heed the warning,” he said.
Over the previous two days, rainfall at Shellharbour totaled 193mm, 3.2 times the average amount for July, Albion Park reported 172mm, 3.1 times the average, and Beaumont measured 161mm, 1.6 times the average.
Menangle in Macarthur, southwest of Sydney, saw significant flooding as a result of river levels that were higher than in March of this year.
In order to avoid a repetition of their harshly criticized flood response earlier this year, authorities are convinced they are prepared to assist NSW people who are caught off guard by the extreme weather.
Emergency services workers are on duty around-the-clock, and two defense helicopters and 100 soldiers are on alert.
Wild gusts, rough seas, and heavy rain are likely to continue until Monday as a result of the cold front that is hammering the state’s east coast.
Residents have been warned to forgo unnecessary travel because the flooding ruined the first weekend of the NSW school holidays.
Flood watches are in effect for catchments between Newcastle and Batemans Bay, including Sydney and the Illawarra, and flooding is also a possibility for the Hunter, Central Coast, Sydney, and the south coast.
Newcastle, the Central Coast, Lake Macquarie, the Upper Coxs, Colo, Macdonald, Woronora, Patterson, Williams, and Lower Hunter rivers are among the regions that are at risk.
Concern is also being raised about the Upper and Lower Nepean and Hawkesbury Rivers as already-soaked catchments experience yet another protracted downpour.
Dramatic video captures the moment a young woman in panic was rescued from raging floods on Saturday night as severe weather caused havoc in NSW.
The woman, thought to be in her 20s, was carried away by the perilous waves and clutched tightly to a tree as the icy current tore at her.
On Saturday night in Holsworthy, southwest Sydney, emergency personnel heroically battled to save her and were able to reach her with a lifeline before rescuing her and bringing her to safety.
Stephanie Cooke, the minister for emergency services in NSW, urged people to be prepared to leave quickly.
Please make every effort to adequately prepare your homes, and if you have any doubts, evacuate as soon as possible.
Don’t necessarily hold out for us to issue a request or suggestion that you depart.
If you receive a text message from +61 444 444 444, the SES advised, it is an official alarm that needs your attention and prompt action.
Authorities worry that because the deluge broke a 118-year record, Sydney’s primary water supply, the Warragamba Dam, may overflow and cause extensive flooding.
One man who washed away in the Hacking River at Otford, in the Illawarra, south of Sydney, was anxiously sought after by emergency personnel including ambulance, fire, police, and SES.
A rural firefighter saw the man in a nearby creek and dove into the frigid waters as they rose to rescue him onto the bank of the river.
Then, more RFS crew members assisted him in ascending to a higher location where he was examined for injuries and sent to a hospital.
When two automobiles became trapped in rising floodwaters in Austral, southwest Sydney, a further nine persons were also rescued.
According to the Rural Fire Service, “the two cars were under around 40 cm of water, which is enough to be highly dangerous.”
“Our men assisted the passengers of two automobiles to higher ground, and they have returned safely.”
Authorities issued a warning early on Saturday that the rainy weather would only get worse since additional rain, strong winds, and rough waves were predicted.
According to Emergency Management Minister Murray Watt, the federal government granted ADF support to NSW on Friday night, making 100 soldiers and two helicopters accessible starting on Sunday.
Senator Watt said on Saturday from Brisbane, “I want to reassure people that the federal government… is 100% prepared for what might lie ahead.”
One of the lessons we’ve learned over the past few years is that when there isn’t a proactive and responsible federal government, horrible things may happen.
According to Jane Golding of the Bureau of Meteorology, the weather will “deteriorate” overnight with a chance of flash flooding and landslides.
She predicted an increase in rainfall rates.
We’ll begin to notice an increase in the wind as well. The rising rain will cause the seas to be stirred up, and the rivers will move in response.
Between 80 and 150mm of rain fell on Sydney and the Illawarra in just six hours, and more than 200mm dropped south of Wollongong overnight.
The month of July brought the most rain to the Illawarra district since 1904.
Drivers were advised to use additional caution because the downpour fell on the first weekend of the school break.
We are aware that floodwater is particularly hazardous for driving. Turn around and find an other route if the road is flooded, advised Transport for NSW’s Roger Weeks.
Congestion is forecast on routes into and out of Sydney, with significant traffic anticipated at well-known chokepoints, notably around the airport.
Additionally anticipated are dangerous surf conditions and the possibility of coastal erosion.