There is at least another day of horrendous weather in and around Sydney with up to 200mm of rain due and warnings of more deadly floods.
People in and around Sydney have been warned that the torrential rain being dumped on the city is a “life threatening situation” and further fatalities could occur on Monday as an East Coast Low batters populated areas.
One man died on Sunday after he was swept away by floodwaters in the city’s west with at least 140 rescues and 3000 calls to the State Emergency Service (SES) for help.
By late on Sunday, 41 evacuation orders and 44 evacuation warnings were in place in western, south western and north western Sydney with more than 30,000 people told to leave their homes.
That has only grown overnight with a further eight evacuation orders issued by the SES including for parts of Penrith, Emu Plains, Pitt Town and Yarramundi.
Next 24 hours decisive
The East Coast Low made landfall last night bringing not just rain but strong wind and treacherous surf.
Sydney can expect up to 100mm of rain on Monday and Wollongong as much as 150mm. Heavy falls are expected in Newcastle and the central coast as the system moves north.
The key message for Monday is to stay put if you can and if you see water – be it rivers, the sea or flooded roads – steer clear.
“The next 24 hours will decide how high the floods peak along the Hawkesbury River such as around Richmond, where the water levels have already risen substantially,” said Sky News Weather meteorologist Rob Sharp.
“And they could go a lot further than that depending on how much falls with this system.”
The rain is due to linger right through Monday with damaging winds gusts potentially bringing bring down trees, power lines and causing property damage.
“The rain is then going to edge slightly further northwards along the coastline with heavy falls, possibly drifting into Newcastle for a time,” said Mr Sharp.
The sodden conditions should begin to ease by Tuesday as the East Coast Low dissipates.
But that still leaves an extremely wet Monday with up to 200mm potentially falling in isolated areas on top of what has already come down.
And the flooding may not peak in some areas until after the rains have subsided as all that extra water makes its way through the catchments.
In addition, major dams such as Warragamba, have been spilt or may well be spilt soon, adding to the flood risk.
‘Life threatening conditions’
On Sunday, Emergency Services Minister Steph Cooke said the horrendous weather had led to “life threatening conditions”.
“If you know your local community is prone to flooding, please be prepared to evacuate on short notice.
“If you were safe in 2021 do not assume you will be safe tonight,” Ms Cooke said.
A string of full or partial evacuation orders have also been issued on Sunday and early on Monday impacting parts or all of the following suburbs: Pleasure Point, Bents Basin area, Wallacia, Woronora, Camden, Pitt Town, Emu Plains, Emu Heights, Penrith, Moorebank, Yarramundi, Chipping Norton and Warwick Farm, Liverpool, Lansvale and Georges Hall.
A man died after being pulled from a Sydney waterway on Sunday.
Emergency services including Polair attended the Parramatta River off Abbotsford Parade in the city’s inner west, after reports a boat had capsized and a man was struggling in the water.
Despite being assisted by a member of the public, the kayaker died at the scene.
At 4am, the rain gauge at Holsworthy barracks in Sydney’s south had recorded 75mm of fresh precipitation since 9am Sunday, on top of the 167mm on Saturday and almost 100mm the day before that.
Lucas Heights in Sydney’s south added 70mm to the almost 250mm from Saturday.
Albion Park, south of Wollongong, has now seen around 400mm of rain over three days.
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