Rescues, flood threat to Sydney fringe suburbs

Floodwaters inundate the Parramatta Ferry Wharf in Parramatta, Sydney, Friday, April 5

Floodwaters inundate the Parramatta Ferry Wharf in Parramatta, Sydney, Friday, April 5 Photo: AAP


Suburbs on Sydney’s fringes are facing the threat of significant flooding as intense storms slowly shift south.

More than a month’s worth of rain fell over Sydney, Port Macquarie and Taree on Friday, delaying trains, cutting power and leading to evacuation alerts.

The NSW State Emergency Service was involved in 44 flood rescues by Saturday morning and had received more than 4000 calls in the last 24 hours.

The severe weather risk was expected to have moved south of the capital on Saturday morning.

But the Bureau of Meteorology warned isolated severe thunderstorms may redevelop on Saturday afternoon.

Up to 150 millimetres remained possible within a six-hour period for areas stretching from the Blue Mountains hundreds of kilometres to Narooma.

Evacuation orders were issued for several locations including along the Hawkesbury Nepean and for low-lying parts of Chipping Norton in the heart of western Sydney.

Numerous rivers – including the Hawkesbury, Nepean, Georges, Lower Hunter, Myall, Macquarie and Woronora – were on flood watch.

“With the forecast rainfall, further river level rises and moderate to major flooding is possible from Saturday morning along the Hawkesbury and Nepean Rivers,” the Bureau of Meteorology warned on Friday evening.

Liverpool and Milperra in southern Sydney could experience moderate flooding from the Georges River from Saturday morning.

Surfers and other beachgoers were also warned to stay “well away from the surf and surf-exposed areas” due to dangerous conditions, particularly at east-facing beaches.

Scores of community sport teams had their winter seasons delayed with flooded grounds from Wollondilly to the Northern Beaches closed all weekend.

Relief won’t be in sight for Nepean and Hawkesbury communities downstream of Warragamba Dam.

The reservoir holding most of Sydney’s water supply is expected to spill from Monday.

Premier Chris Minns advised residents to remain alert and up-to-date with warnings in their local areas.

“It is a volatile event and we need to make sure that we’ve got the latest information … but it does require everybody being alert,” he said on Friday.


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