Thousands more prepare to evacuate as NSW floods worsen

The weather situation in New South Wales continues to worsen today, with thousands of residents evacuated from their homes.

Around 18,000 people were evacuated yesterday, while another 15,000 are being told to prepare for that around the Upper Colo River this morning.

While areas of concern are still around the Hawkesbury River, it’s understood the situation in the Northern Rivers is also considerably worse this morning.


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A severe weather warning remains in place for heavy rain, damaging winds and surf and abnormally high tides in the following areas.

Northern Rivers, Mid North Coast, Hunter, Metropolitan, Illawarra, South Coast, Central Tablelands, Southern Tablelands, North West Slopes and Plains, Snowy Mountains, Australian Capital Territory, Northern Tablelands and parts of Central West Slopes and Plains, South West Slopes and Upper Western Forecast Districts.

It comes after a huge 24 hours of rain for several parts of the state.

Rainfall Since 9am Monday include:

Evans Head AWS 105.4 mm

Tibooburra AP 102.8mm

Chillingham 101 mm

Huonbrook 100 mm

Rainfall observations to 9am Monday include:

Minnie Water Pump Shed 256mm

Nambucca Heads 245mm

Yarras Mountain 209mm

Mount Seaview 203mm

Houghlahan’s Creek 193mm

Nashua (Wilsons River) 198mm

Alstonville 187.8mm

Coffs Harbour 183mm

Woolgoolga 182mm

Emergency Services Minister David Elliot says it was a very busy night for emergency services, but they’re still going through all the statistics.

“9500 requests for assistance had been concluded over the course of this activity, yesterday, in the last 24 hours, 1300 requests for assistance have been concluded.

“Unfortunately 850 of those have been flood rescues, not all of them obviously from motorists, but unfortunately a number of them have been and as I said we are statistically crawling towards the inevitable fatality, and that must be avoided,” Minister Elliot said. 

The NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says emergency services are keeping an eye on all parts of the state today.

“Today also we are watching in addition to the Northern Rivers and the Mid North Coast and obviously Western Sydney catchment areas where there is further evacuation alerts, the south coast of New South Wales is also an area of concern with heavy rainfall expected today, and we will be watching that as well.

“But my strongest message to everybody is please just listen to the advice.

The current advice from SES in NSW is:

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 at least 8 metres away from fallen power lines or objects that may be energised, such as fences.
* Trees that have been damaged by fire are likely to be more unstable and more likely to fall.
* Report fallen power lines to either Ausgrid (131 388), Endeavour Energy (131 003), Essential Energy (132 080) or Evoenergy (131 093) as shown on your power bill.
* 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.
* Be aware that run-off from rainfall in fire affected areas may behave differently and be more rapid. It may also contain debris such as ash, soil, trees and rocks.
* After bushfires, heavy rain and the loss of foliage can make the ground soft and heavy, leading to a greater chance of landslides.
* Stay vigilant and monitor conditions. Note that the landscape may have changed following bushfires.
* For emergency help in floods and storms, ring your local SES Unit on 132 500.

While flood warnings remain in place across the state as well, with multiple catchment areas of concern today.

The Bureau expects flooding in parts of Northern Rivers, Mid North Coast, Sydney, South Coast, South West, Central West and North West.

“On top of the existing Flood Warnings, rainfall associated with a deepening low pressure trough over western NSW has the potential to cause minor to major flooding over parts of the NSW East Coast and parts of the South West, Central West and North West,” the Bureau says.

Catchments likely to be affected by flooding are currently wet due to recent rainfall. They include, Tweed and Rouse Rivers, Wilsons River, Richmond River, Clarence River, Georges and Woronora Rivers, Bega River, Upper Macintyre River, Gwydir River, Peel River, Namoi River, Castlereagh River, Orange, Molong and Bell River, Macquarie River, Bogan River, Belubula River, Mandagery Creek, Queanbeyan and Molonglo River.

“Unfortunately, some weather conditions have worsened, and those weather conditions are likely to worsen during the day so many communities will experience increasing heavy rainfall and as we advised yesterday about 18,000 people have been evacuated and regrettably we now have warnings for an additional 15,000 people that may need to be evacuated,” Ms Berejiklian said in this morning’s update.

“The extra areas of concern are around the river in the Hawkesbury but also in the Northern Rivers area that was previously not as severe as the Mid North Coast,” she said. 

For up to date information on alerts and warnings, click here: http://www.bom.gov.au/nsw/warnings/

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