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Flood crisis: Warragamba Dam spill sparks SES door knock for at-risk residents in southern Sydney

Matt Shrivell
The Nightly
2 Min Read
Heavy rain has caused chaos around the state.

SES responders are going door-to-door warning residents of an impending evacuation in southern Sydney as the Warragamba Dam continues to spill over amid severe weather conditions causing rising river levels set to engulf major regions of NSW.

The door knock began to inform at-risk residents that ‘prepare to leave’ orders had been issued.

The Nepean River continues to rise rapidly and residents were warned the dam had started spilling at about 4.30am after rainfall totals rose rapidly above 150mm in the Hawkesbury region.

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NSW SES State Duty Commander, Acting Assistant Commissioner Dallas Burnes said volunteers have worked tirelessly overnight.

“Our flood rescue teams have been working in very challenging conditions throughout the southeast of the state through the night, and our volunteers will continue to respond until conditions ease,” Assistant Commissioner Burnes said.

Rescue crews in action during flooding in Woollamia
The NSW south coast is in line for more rain as a trough moves south but has already been drenched. Credit: AAP

He urged motorists in rain-affected regions to reconsider non-essential travel leading into the weekend.

“A number of roads may be impacted by flash flooding today. It is important to check live traffic and monitor conditions. If you come across a flooded road, please turn around and find an alternative route,” Assistant Commissioner Burnes said.

“This is a dynamic weather system where conditions can change rapidly. The fastest and simplest way to know your risk from severe weather and flooding is to set up a watch zone in Hazards Near Me.

‘’And remember, never drive through flood waters. If you come across a flooded road, stop, turn around and find an alternate route,” he added.

The Menangle Bridge is closed and the Nepean River at Penrith is likely to reach the minor flood level by midday.

The SES warned the Hawkesbury River at Windsor and North Richmond could reach moderate flood levels by Saturday.

The NSW State Emergency Service (SES) has responded to 447 storm-related incidents in the past 24 hours. There were 291 incidents in the Illawarra and South Coast area, 86 in the Sydney metro area and 12 in the Hunter and Central Coast area.

Emergency services in one Aussie state have captured the moment a driver was rescued from floodwaters, after hundreds of millimetres of rain fell on thousands of residents.
Flood warnings have been issued for swathes of NSW as the heavy rainfall continues. Credit: Weather Zone

The majority of flood rescues were for cars stuck in flash flooding in the Shoalhaven region, which received about 100mm of rain overnight. The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for heavy rainfall which may lead to flash flooding in the Illawarra, South Coast, Metropolitan Sydney and Southern Tablelands districts.

Rainfall totals are being updated constantly with isolated totals estimated to be over 250mm in 24 hours, according to the Bureau forecast.

Areas of particular concern for flash flooding are Wollongong, Nowra, Bowral, Campbelltown, Huskisson and Ulladulla and people and the SES are concerned about motorists heading off for long weekend trips asking that they use caution in all affected areas.

For help in floods and storms, call the NSW SES on 132 500. In life-threatening situations, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

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