More Torrential Rain, Flooding, Damaging Winds Still To Come For NSW
Emergency services are urging NSW residents to plan ahead as the state braces for another wet day, with more torrential rain expected to drench a number of areas on Sunday.
Residents across Sydney and the Illawarra have been told to prepare themselves for heavy rain and potential flooding, as the trough that has been bringing persistent rain and windy conditions now also likely to extend into the southern coast.
Some stations in northern NSW have already recorded more than 300mm within 48 hours, as BOM acting NSW state manager Jane Golding said rain was expected to intensify overnight and through Sunday.
A severe weather warning for very heavy rain, high winds, large waves and tides has been issued along the entire coast from the Northern Rivers region to the South Coast.
"Potentially we haven't seen anything like this since the late 1990s," Golding said.
BOM senior forecaster Jordan Notara on Saturday afternoon said they could see 100 to 200mm falling over metropolitan Sydney and surrounds within the following 12 to 24 hours.
He warned that could cause "inundation on some places along the coast, minor to major flooding over some catchments and very strong winds along the coastline".
Mt Elliot (184mm), Toukley (159mm), Kangy Angy (140mm) and Wyong (125mm) received heavy falls from 9pm on Friday to 4am on Saturday.
Over 300mm was recorded at stations surrounding Byron Bay within the 48 hours to 9am Saturday.
It's prompted another urgent plea from state emergency services with authorities concerned that some residents were still not getting the message about safety.
NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York said those in low lying areas needed to plan ahead and adjust travel plans for the coming days, with heavy rains not looking to subside anytime soon.
“Now is the time to plan how you will protect your family and property from flood. If you live in a rural area, now is the time to move your stock and equipment to higher ground,” York said on Saturday evening.
“NSW SES volunteers are proactively doorknocking low-lying areas in various parts of Sydney to alert residents of the potential of localised flooding."
York said the SES had received more than 2,600 calls for help since midnight on Wednesday.
The SES has also carried out 20 flood rescues across the state, mostly for motorists who have driven into floodwaters.
"It’s too dangerous – and you never know how deep the floodwaters are, the condition of the road or how fast the water is flowing," she said.
BOM has issued minor flood warnings for a number of catchments including the Cooks River, Orara River and Tuggerah Lake, and a minor to moderate warning for the Hawkesbury and Nepean rivers.
It means ferries and bridges are also likely to be impacted on Sunday.
"As the Hawkesbury River continues to rise, ferries at Sackville, Lower Portland and Webbs Creek may be closed," York said.
"Bridges at Yarramundi, North Richmond and Windsor may be impacted over the next 24 hours."
BOM also warned that the burned-out landscape and loss of vegetation on the fire-affected South Coast had left it vulnerable to landslips.
But the heavy rain has also brought relief to firefighters, with the number of fires still burning across the state down to 38 on Saturday evening.
The Rural Fire Service also announced that as of 8pm on Saturday, the Currowan Fire burning at Shoalhaven had been extinguished after more than two months.
The fire which burned for 74 days and burnt out almost 500,000 hectares of land spanned from one end of Shoalhaven to the other.
It destroyed 312 homes and damaged a further 173.
"1,1889 homes were saved by firefighters," the RFS said.