Hundreds of terrified Aussies call for help as life-threatening flash flooding pummels homes and experts warn people to stay indoors or evacuate – here’s everything you need to know
- Residents from mid-north coast of NSW down to Sydney enduring flash flooding
- Many people evacuated from the likes of Taree, Dungog and Port Macquarie
- NSW State Emergency services said smash flood records likely to happen
Hundreds of terrified residents across NSW could lose their homes as life-threatening flash flooding pummels houses, with emergency experts warning people to stay indoors or evacuate.
With unrelenting rainfall up of to 100mm, parts of NSW’s coast have already been ordered to evacuate due to the wild weather stretching from the mid-north coast of NSW down to Illawarra, south of Sydney.
NSW State Emergency Service (SES) has ordered evacuations in suburbs including Taree, Dungog, Wingham, Port Macquarie and Laurieton.
The streets and shops at Wauchope are flooded after relentless rain on Friday night and Saturday morning
This car was almost completely submerged after flash flooding on the mid-north coast of NSW
The Macksville bridge on the NSW mid-north coast is submerged in water after heavy rain
Popular tourist haven Port Macquarie was reportedly hit with 187mm of downpour in less than 24 hours.
Evacuation warnings area are also in place for low-lying areas including Macksville, Kings Point, Crescent Head and Kempsey.
‘Some of those locations will probably have floods of record in those areas,’ SES spokesman David Weber said.
‘We are asking people to please act on all advice given by emergency services immediately.’
Evacuation centres and orders following NSW North Coast flooding
Evacuation orders have been issued by the NSW State Emergency Service for low lying properties in these areas:
• Central Wingham and the Wingham Peninsular
• Taree Estate, Dumaresq Island and Cundletown
• Laurieton, North Haven, Dunbogan and Diamond Head
• Kings Point and Macksville
• Wauchope and Rawdon Island
• Kempsey CBD
• Lower Macleay
• Port Macquarie
Source: NSW SES
Sydney residents are also advised to stay inside, with the shift expected to move towards Wollongong on Saturday afternoon.
‘This will be the difference between what could seem like inconvenient rain, to actually something that might be quite dangerous and threatening,’ Agata Imielska from the Bureau Of Meteorology said.
‘It is really important for Sydneysiders to be mindful about reconsidering their plans.’
The development comes as Warragamba Dam, which is Sydney’s primary water source, is at risk of spilling over as a dangerous weather system pushes over Sydney.
The Bureau of Meteorology’s Jonathan Howe said the dangerous coastal trough has seen major flood warnings issued for the Hawkesbury and Nepean rivers.
‘We are expecting 100-150 millimetres across the metro area [of Sydney] and inland into places like Canberra through the weekend,’ he told the ABC.
‘There is real concern for the Warragamba Dam which is currently at 95 per cent capacity, and if we add 200 millimetres over the weekend, there are likely to be spillages from that dam.’
Volunteers, some of whom have worked overnight, load up sandbags for local residents at the Penrith on Saturday
A flood rescue team prepares for a potentially busy afternoon at the Penrith branch of the SES on Saturday
Volunteers filling sandbags for local residents in western Sydney at the Penrith branch of the SES
IMPORTANT FLOOD INFORMATION
* Never drive, ride or walk through floodwater.
* Stack possessions, records, stock or equipment on benches and tables, placing electrical items on top.
* Secure objects that are likely to float and cause damage.
* Relocate waste containers, chemicals and poisons well above floor level.
* Activate your Home or Business FloodSafe Plan.
* Keep listening to your local radio station for information, updates and advice.
* Keep in contact with your neighbours.
* Be prepared to evacuate if advised by emergency services.
* Act early as roads may become congested or close.
Source: NSW SES