Was The Big Wet Enough To Top Up NSW Dams?
NSW has seen one of the wettest weekends in decades, and while it caused catastrophic damage to some areas, it has been a blessing for the state's dangerously low dam levels.
As the clean-up began on Monday for the dozens of impacted communities, WaterNSW had some good news for people wondering if the heavy rain had fallen where it was needed most.
The state saw more than 300mm fall in some areas, resulting in an increase of more than 22 per cent across the NSW dam network from last week alone.
The total storage and supply level of all NSW dams now sits at 64.2 per cent.
Sydney's Warragamba Dam is up from 42 per cent capacity since before the huge downpour began.
It's now sitting at 60.7 per cent and continuing to rise, according to WaterNSW.
Other dams have also seen huge jumps in water levels, including at Nepean and Tallowa which are overflowing, while the Fitzroy Falls Reservoir is also at 100 per cent.
The Tallowa Dam in particular, which provides water to the fire-ravaged Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands Region and is also a backup to the Sydney and Illawarra water supplies, has had a 100 per cent increase in water levels since last week, according to the WaterNSW website.
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Water Restrictions Won't Be lifted
Despite the good news, the NSW Government is refusing to budge on the tough water restrictions currently in place across the state, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.
Level 2 restrictions which were introduced across Sydney, The Blue Mountains and Illawarra in December were implemented after the total storage levels across the dam network fell to just 46 per cent.
"It's too soon for us to even think about that at this stage," Berejiklian said.
"We need to be aware that extreme weather conditions mean we need to be cautious about how we use precious commodities like water."
However, it's believed the government will review the measures in the coming weeks.
But the heavy rain hasn't delivered good news for everyone.
The strong winds wreaked havoc on the east coast on the weekend, with waves which peaked at up to 13 metres and high tides causing extensive flooding and erosion.
It's led the Insurance Council of Australia to declare another weather-related catastrophe, the sixth declared in just five months after a summer of bushfires and storms.
Since February 5, storms have flooded southeast Queensland, NSW coastal regions and caused damage several hundred kilometres inland and in the ACT.
On Monday morning the country's insurers had received 10,000 storm-related claims estimated to be worth $45 million, the ICA said.
Most of the claims have come from Queensland and coastal NSW for property damage caused by storm runoff, flooding, strong winds and heavy rain.
Insurers are expecting more claims to pour in over the coming days as power and telecommunications are restored.
The weather deluge is not yet over either, with forecasters warning heavy rain and damaging winds will again lash Sydney and other parts of NSW later this week.
A catastrophe declaration means claims will be given priority by insurers.
Featured Image: WaterNSW