UPDATE: Residents living downstream from Jerrara Dam are being urged to evacuate immediately.
Jerrara Dam (near Jamberoo, west of Kiama), which is in the process of being decommissioned, has shown signs of the wall failing due to heavy rainfall in the area.
NSW SES advises residents living downstream of the dam need to take action to protect themselves and their properties and evacuate immediately.
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The dam failure warning system for Jerrara Dam has issued a Red Alert, for areas downstream of the dam. This alert means dam failure is imminent.
Failure of the dam will result in extremely dangerous flooding of the following areas: Mt Brandon Road, Jerrara Road and Jamberoo Road.
The NSW State Emergency Service directs residents within these areas to evacuate. Do not delay your evacuation. Remaining in flooded areas is dangerous and may place your life at risk.
For people who need assistance with evacuation call the NSW SES on 132 500
EARLIER: A Severe Weather Warning for damaging winds and heavy rainfall has been issued for people in the Illawarra and South Coast forecast districts.
The Bureau of Meterology says a small low pressure centre has developed off the northern Illawarra coast overnight and is currently deepening, while a strong high in the Bight strengthens a ridge towards the Tasman Sea.
This pattern is generating vigorous onshore winds along the southern half of the coast, and bringing periods of heavy rainfall to the region. The low is expected to reach peak intensity later today, before gradually weakening during Wednesday.
Damaging winds around 65 km/h with peak gusts of 90 km/h may affect the coastal fringe of the Illawarra forecast district today, particularly during the afternoon and evening.
Periods of heavy rain, which may lead to flash flooding, are forecast for the Illawarra forecast district and northern parts of the South Coast forecast district today.
Locations which may be affected include Wollongong, Kiama, Nowra, Jervis Bay, and Ulladulla.
The State Emergency Service advises that people should:
Move vehicles under cover or away from trees.
Secure or put away loose items around your house, yard and balcony.
Keep clear of fallen power lines.
Don’t drive, ride or walk through flood water.
Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.
If you are trapped by flash flooding, seek refuge in the highest available place and ring 000 if you need rescue.
For emergency help in floods and storms, ring your local SES Unit on 132 500.
The next warning will be issued by 11:00 am EST Tuesday.