People northwest of Sydney have been ordered to evacuate their homes amid unrelenting heavy rain that’s causing surging rivers to break their banks.
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning that extends over half of NSW.
Major flooding is occurring along the Colo River in the Hawkesbury region and the State Emergency Service ordered around 200 residents out on Tuesday morning.
“You should be ready to be evacuated from your home via helicopter or boat,” the SES said.
“If you do not leave when asked to it will be too dangerous to stay and you may be trapped without power, water and other essential services.”
On the Hawkesbury River another evacuation order was issued for low lying properties in North Richmond, Agnes Banks and Windsor amid major flooding.
“Flooding may remain at these levels for the next few days based on forecast rainfall,” the SES said.
NSW road closures
The NSW Transport Management Centre has released a list of roads and public transport routes affected by severe weather on Tuesday.
“Motorists and public transport passengers in flood-affected areas of the state are advised to avoid non-essential travel and work from home again today,” the TMC said in a statement.
“Motorists needing to travel should take extreme care, be prepared for conditions to change quickly and never drive through floodwaters.
“Public transport passengers who need to travel are also advised to allow plenty of extra travel time and take extreme care.”
The list of affected roads and public transport routes includes:
Sydney’s West & North West
- At Penrith – Castlereagh Road has reopened between Thornton Drive and Jane Street
- At Windsor:
- At North Richmond – North Richmond Bridge is closed
- At Yarramundi – Yarramundi Bridge is closed
- At Colo – Colo River Bridge is closed
- At Clarendon – Hawkesbury Valley Way is closed between Moses Street and just west of Percival Street
- At Pitt Town – Pitt Town Road is closed between Saunders Road and Glebe Road
- At Riverstone – Garfield Road West is closed between West Parade and Carnarvon Road
- At Wilberforce – Wilberforce Road is closed between Freemans Reach Road and Rose Street
- Between Cattai and South Maroota – Wisemans Ferry Road is closed across the Cattai Creek Bridge between Mitchell Park Road and Sackville Ferry Road
- Between Bell and Mount Tomah – Bells Line of Road is closed in both directions
- Busways services in the Hawkesbury, Penrith and Blacktown area are not operating today due to flooding
- On the T1 Western Line and T5 Cumberland Line – buses are replacing trains between Schofields and Richmond due to flooding
- Buses are replacing F3 ferries between Meadowbank, Rydalmere and Parramatta due to the Parramatta Weir overflowing at Parramatta and strong currents at Rydalmere
- Between North Narrabeen and Oxford Falls – Wakehurst Parkway is closed
- At Oxford Falls – Oxford Falls Road is closed between Wakehurst Parkway and Aroona Road
- Audley Weir is closed in the Royal National Park
- At Menangle Park – Menangle Road is closed over the Nepean River
- At Douglas Park – Douglas Park Drive (causeway) is closed between Moreton Park Road and Mitchell Place
Hunter Valley / Central Coast
- At Singleton – the Golden Highway is closed between Range Road and New England Highway
- Between Cliftleigh and Gillieston Heights – Main Road/Cessnock Road is closed between Avery Lane and Russell Street
- At Charmhaven – the Pacific Highway is closed between Lowana Avenue and Costa Avenue
- In Anna Bay, Nelson Bay Road is closed between Salamander Way and Frost Road
- On the Central Coast & Newcastle Line – buses are replacing trains between Newcastle Interchange and Fassifern due to flooding at Cockle Creek
- On the Hunter Line – buses are replacing trains between Newcastle Interchange, Maitland and Dungog/Scone due to flooding
- The Illawarra Highway is closed at Macquarie Pass as well as at Albion Park (between Tongarra Road and Croome Lane)
- Between Mittagong and Bowral – Mittagong/Bowral Road has reopened between Old Bowral Road and Kangaloon Road
- In Nyngan – The Mitchell Highway has reopened between the Barrier Highway and Paynes Road
- Between Moree and the Queensland border – The Newell Highway and Carnarvon Highway are both closed
- At Biniguy, east of Moree – the Gwydir Highway is closed, east of Gretai Road
- Between Coopernook and Cundletown – one lane of the Pacific Highway is open in each direction. Vehicles are being escorted through the area in very limited numbers and under a reduced speed limit
- Between Glenthorne and Taree – Manning River Drive is closed over the Martin Bridge
- Between Walcha and Gloucester – Thunderbolts Way is closed
- At Krambach – The Bucketts Way is closed between Saxbys Road and Roys Road
- At Failford – Failford Road is closed between the Pacific Highway and The Lakes Way
- The Oxley Highway is closed between Sancrox and Long Flat, as well as between Walcha and Mount Seaview
- Between Macksville and Nambucca Heads – Giinagay Way is closed between the Pacific Highway and Edgewater Drive
- Between Thora and Dorrigo Mountain – Waterfall Way is closed
- At Corindi Beach – Solitary Islands Way is closed between Blackadder Road and Coral Street
There are also a number of other minor road closures. For a full list and the latest traffic information, visit www.livetraffic.com, download the Live Traffic NSW app or call 132 701.
NSW Floods: Key facts & Figures
- More than 18,000 people have been told to evacuate
- 15,000 people are on standby to do the same
- 870 flood rescues to early Tuesday, after 9700 calls for help
- More than 200 schools closed
- Rains not expected to ease until Wednesday.
Mid-North Coast Floods
- 15,000 people ordered to evacuate low-lying areas including Macksville, Port Macquarie, Lower Macleay, Kempsey CBD
- Communities facing the worst flooding in almost a century
- Another 100mm of rainfall expected before Wednesday
- The Macleay and Hastings rivers overflowing in many areas.
Hunter Valley Floods
- More rain is on the way and the danger is not over
- Major flooding is occurring at Bulga in the Hunter Valley
- Minor flooding may occur in the Lower Hunter from Tuesday morning.
Western, Southern and Northern Sydney floods
- 3000 evacuated from communities along the Hawkesbury River amid the worst flooding since 1961, with the river expected to peak around 15m on Monday night
- Another 50-100mm of rainfall expected before Wednesday
- Major risks remain for residents west of the city
- Evacuation order in some low-lying properties due to rising floodwater
- Major flooding occurring along the Hawkesbury River which has risen to 13.11m
- The Nepean River peaked near Penrith overnight at just over 10m, forcing evacuations
- Towns affected included Windsor, Pitt Town, North Richmond, Freemans Reach and Colo
- Fears up to 54,000 people could be displaced.
Western NSW floods
- Parts of western NSW could receive a season’s worth of rain as another system moves in from the south
- The Macquarie River levels have peaked at Bathurst, with minor flooding continuing.
Illawarra & South Coast Floods
- Two flood watch alerts in place for the Shoalhaven and Bega rivers and St Georges Basin
- 100-300mm of rainfall expected to fall in parts in coming days
- Federal government natural disaster arrangements activated for 38 local government areas, with those affected eligible to claim $1000 per adult and $400 per child
- The Australian Defence Force will run two search and rescue helicopters out of the NSW south coast for 24-hour operations on Tuesday
- 9500 claims have been lodged with insurers so far
- Flood victims eligible for free advice from the Disaster Response Legal Service
- Almost a quarter of a million dollars raised on GoFundMe, including more than $100,000 for a Taree couple whose home washed away on their wedding day.
New NSW flood warnings, hundreds rescued
Relentless rain has lashed the NSW coast for days causing major flooding similar to the 1988 and 1990 flood events along the Hawkesbury River and the Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting more heavy rain.
More than 18,000 people have already been ordered to evacuate areas in the city and in northern NSW.
SES Commissioner Carlene York said the rising Colo and Hawkesbury rivers concerned her the most.
“This rain is incredible and it’s just not stopping,” she told Sydney radio 2GB on Tuesday.
Warnings of moderate flooding along the Nepean River at Penrith are also in place and floodwaters are expected to affect the Upper Nepean River at Menangle Bridge.
The SES on Tuesday morning reported crews attending 9700 calls for help across NSW, including 870 flood rescues.
Evacuation warnings remain in place at Kempsey on the Mid-North coast but the Macleay River levee held overnight.
The Mid-North coast is going to be battered by more heavy rain as are the northern rivers area around Grafton.
The rain will also hit the Hunter and the Central Tablelands will get significant rain as will the South Coast.
Major flooding is occurring at Wollombi in the Hunter Valley, while moderate flooding is still plaguing Taree and Gloucester.
“The other concerning factor is the winds are going to rise again with a forecast of up to 90km/h,” Ms York said.
“That brings with it storm damage and roof damage.”
Weather forecasters say the record-breaking floods are amongst the worst they’ve seen – and there’s more torrential rain to come.
Some locations have experienced almost a metre of rain in a week.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro says people are on edge.
“It is tough. We have come off the back of drought and bushfires in the pandemic, and other floods. Some of the same areas that were smashed by bushfires only 15 months ago are now dealing with floods,” he told Seven.
More rain is on the way on Tuesday and possibly into Wednesday when conditions are forecast to ease.
The state’s South Coast is due to cop a drenching and will get some of the heaviest falls on Tuesday.
The BOM is predicting rainfall of between 100-200mm across the region, and up to 300mm in some parts.
Sydney and the Mid-North Coast could cop another 100mm in the next day or so, and a season’s worth of rain is possible in the west.
A number of towns across the state have been isolated for days, some without fresh water or power.
Roads have been cut off, hundreds of homes inundated and around 200 schools shut.
Inland, the Macquarie River has peaked at Bathurst, with minor flooding occurring.