Parts of NSW under ‘High risk’ zone of of flash flooding

 Saturday, July 2, 2022 

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A flood watch is in place stretching from the Hunter region to the South Coast due to prolonged heavy rainfall.

Major flooding is possible in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley.

NSW residents are being warned the current bout of wet weather hitting the east coast is only going to get worse, with more rain, powerful winds and surging seas on the way.

Two Australian Defence Force helicopters will be available to assist with rescues as areas of the state brace for intense rainfall and possible flooding.

Three flood rescues have already been performed since Friday, with people along parts of the Hawkesbury River being warned they face a major flood risk.

NSW Emergency Minister Steph Cooke said flash flooding could occur anywhere from Newcastle to Jervis Bay.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s Jane Golding said there would be a “deterioration” of weather overnight, with a risk of flash flooding and landslips. The rainfall rates will increase, she said. 

The federal government approved ADF support at the request of NSW on Friday night, with 100 troops available from Sunday onwards, Emergency Management Minister Murray Watt said.

There is a risk of severe flooding around Sydney and the Illawarra, as well as the Hawkesbury and Nepean regions from Sunday through to next week.

More than 200 millimetres of rain fell south of Wollongong overnight, and there are warnings for six-hour totals of between 80 and 150 millimetres in Sydney and the Illawarra.

The weather system comes on the first weekend of school holidays in the state, and drivers are being urged to take extreme caution.

Routes in and out of Sydney are likely to have congestion, with heavy traffic expected at known pinch-points, particularly around the airport.

Hazardous surf and swell conditions are also expected.

The Bureau of Meteorology said the system may develop on Sunday or Monday, prolonging the persistent rain into next week.

Flooding is possible for the Hunter, Central Coast, the Greater Sydney region and the South Coast from Saturday, with flood watches in place for catchments between Newcastle and Batemans Bay, including Sydney and the Illawarra.

Areas at risk include Newcastle, the Central Coast, Lake Macquarie, the Upper Coxs, Colo, Macdonald, Woronora, Patterson, Williams and Lower Hunter rivers.

Also, at risk are the Upper and Lower Nepean and Hawkesbury rivers.

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