Sydneysiders are bracing for wild weather on Monday after New South Wales’ south coast was drenched by up to 300mm of rain – forcing residents living in tents in bushfire-affected towns to evacuate.
A severe flood warning is in place for coastal regions of Sydney and the Hunter region with winds expected to exceed 90km/h as a low pressure trough moves northwards through the state.
Photos of Hurstville in Sydney’s south showed cars crushed by falling trees while emergency crews worked through the night to clear the scene.
The NSW State Emergency Service issued three evacuation orders late on Sunday night for the south coast covering nearly a dozen major population centres including Moruya, Nowra and Sussex Inlet.
Mark Ethell, an evacuated resident from the Moruya Waterfront Hotel, told Channel Nine he was afraid of the impact flooding could have on his community still reeling from the bushfire season.
‘I’m actually concerned for a lot of the people that have been through the fires, the COVID,’ he said.
‘They’re living in tents, they’re actually living in caravans right now and a lot of our low-lying areas around town. It’s going to be pretty hard.’
The Shoalhaven River at Nowra – the largest town in the City of Shoalhaven region – is predicted to peak near 4.4m about 1pm on Monday with authorities warning of ‘major flooding’.
About 6pm on Sunday, the body of a missing kayaker was pulled from Murrumbidgee River, south of Canberra, highlighting the dangers of getting caught out during the deluge.
The man was reported missing about 2pm after he was separated from his kayaking group amid rising river levels, torrential rain and increasingly difficult conditions. His kayak reportedly got caught under a bridge.
A car is pictured crushed by a fallen tree in Hurstville in Sydney’s south. A severe flood warning is also in place for coastal regions of the Harbour City as a trough which has already dumped 300mm of rain on parts of the south coast moves northwards
New South Wales State Emergency Service workers cut up parts of a tree which fell on a ute in Hurstville. Winds exceeding 90km/h expected as a trough moves northwards through the state
Wild weather in Kogarah, in southern Sydney, tore a tree out of the ground and left it lying across the roof of a suburban home
Pictured is the damaging weather system in satellite imagery shared by the Bureau of Meteorology moving north on Sunday evening
Cars were caught in rising waters in Canberra on Sunday (pictured). The SES has told residents in Queanbeyan in the Australian capital’s eastern fringe the surging flood waters should not be considered a ‘tourist attraction’
Mudslides filled with bushfire debris from the catastrophic blazes of the summer are also a cause for concern.
Residents have reported flash flooding, particularly along the Deua River, which peaked at eight metres on Sunday afternoon, and authorities are warning Monday’s deluge could be even more catastrophic.
People in low lying areas of Sussex Inlet were told to evacuate with flood levels expected to damage properties.
The SES has received more than 1,000 calls for help as of Monday morning.
Most of the calls came from within Greater Sydney – many of which were related to falling trees crushing roofs, blocking roads and leaving Bankstown, Padstow and Revesby residents without electricity for several hours before emergency crews restored power.
The torrential downpour has left waterfront homes in Wamberal, about 100 kilometres north of Sydney, facing collapse after a weekend of heavy surf.
Pictured: Rescue crews saving two horses amid rising flood levels in Canberra, as a kayaker’s body is pulled from a stream
A catchment area in ACT was overflowing at the weekend as torrential rain lashed the territory, causing flash flooding
Up to 200mm of rain fell on the burnt-out town of Moruya on the south coast of NSW on Sunday as residents in low lying areas were urged to evacuate and seek higher ground
Canberra suffered extreme and torrential rain on Sunday. Pictured: A car is pictured submerged in the rising floodwaters
Meanwhile, waterfront homes in Wamberal, north of Sydney, have been hit by major erosion after a weekend of wild weather
NSW Transport Minister and Bega MP Andrew Constance said the heavy rain was the latest challenge to face the region after bushfires ravaged the state’s south coast last summer.
‘There was 260mm of rain in some areas over the past three days… It has caused extensive damage, a lot of infrastructure takes a lot of battering,’ he told 2GB’s Ben Fordham.
Sussex Inlet was forecast to rise to 1.2m with the high tide on Sunday night and the nearby river at Island Point Road expected to peak around 1.3m later on Sunday, causing minor flooding.
Torrential rain has pummeled the south coast of New South Wales in particular, but also in Perth – where the downpour has been accompanied by powerful winds (pictured)
Cars were struggling to make it through flood waters on Sunday following torrential rain
People made a mad dash in the rain on Sunday night, carrying umbrellas
Roads were inundated with water both in NSW and ACT (pictured). SES warned residents who chose to remain in their properties that they may get stuck
People who can’t stay with family and friends have been advised to go to the Sussex Inlet Police Station to register for emergency accommodation.
Anyone who chooses to stay behind after the evacuation orders were put in place faces being stranded, with authorities warning they may not be able to rescue all those who are trapped.
Similar warnings were distributed during the fire season, when the NSW Rural Fire Service warned they simply didn’t have the resources to return to previously evacuated communities.
Flood waters were rising on Sunday, leading the SES to urge residents in parts of the south coast to evacuate their homes
By Sunday evening, that evacuation order was updated to include Terara, East Nowra, Worrigee and North Nowra
Sussex Inlet is forecast to rise to 1.2m with the high tide on Sunday night and the nearby river at Island Point Road is expected to peak around 1.3m later on Sunday causing minor flooding
Ovals and drains were also submerged in water from the extreme weather conditions in Berry on Saturday
SES Commissioner Carlene York noted the ground across parts of the south coast has become unstable as a result of last summer’s bushfires, urging residents to be alert for landslides and fallen trees.
More than 20 homes at Broughton Vale near Berry were also cut off by floodwater.
The SES has meanwhile told residents in Queanbeyan in Canberra’s eastern fringe the surging flood waters should not be considered a ‘tourist attraction’ after they flocked to the river edge to watch its level rise.
‘We are very disappointed to see the amount of people at the waters edge and even on occasion in the water, sometimes in the company of children. This is irresponsible and needs to stop please,’ the SES said in a Facebook post.
They warned that while the water ‘may look calm on the surface’ that ‘large debris and other items’ lurked below which ‘pose serious risk of injury’.
‘We implore the community to please maintain their distance and let us do what we need to do to keep you safe. You can still see the river from many safer vantage points then right next to it,’ they said.
‘We have engaged the help of the Monaro Police District to ensure people are staying back.’
Roads were left damaged and covered in water, rubble and fallen trees when flash flooding subsided in parts of NSW
SES workers spoke with residents as they urged them to take extra precautions or evacuate
Bureau of Meteorology senior flood hydrologist Justin Robinson said heavy rains were expected to ease on the south coast later on Sunday and move towards Sydney, the Central Coast and possibly into the Hunter.
‘Hopefully over the next 24 hours the worst of the weather will be over,’ he said.
Flood warnings associated with the weather system have also been issued for the Queanbeyan, Molonglo and Snowy rivers.
In total, more than 300mm of rain fell across the south coast during the weekend.
The low will continue to ravage the Australian Capital Territory as the week progresses, BoM forecasters warn.
Sheep graziers have been warned to pay extra attention to their sheep during the cold snap on Monday, as plunging temperatures increase the risk of losses, particularly with lambs.
Temperatures will drop as low as 3C on Monday and peak at 13C as showers are forecast throughout the day.
By Tuesday, temperatures could plunge to as low was -2C.
A telegraph pole is seen with water rushing past it in Berry as the popular tourist South Coast town suffers horrific rainfall
SES workers are pictured walking through flood waters after torrential rain fell in the ACT
Horses had to be rescued from a paddock which was inundated in the downpour
Shoalhaven Zoo received a drenching on Sunday, revealing two of their more heavy animals had become stranded in the rain
Meanwhile on the other side of the country in Perth, trees crashed into homes and cars as wild weather battered the city on Sunday.
A severe weather warning was issued from Carnavorn to Albany as wind gusts of 110km/h swept across the coast.
More than 3,000 properties were left without power on Sunday.
Heavy rainfall, which could lead to flash flooding, has been forecast throughout south-eastern parts of the state and coastal regions.
Perth is set to receive a month’s worth of rain in just four days as a monster cold front brought in the first of the rains from Sunday.
Parts of the state recorded as much as 45mm on Sunday, with 35mm forecast for Monday and 10mm for Tuesday and Wednesday.
One couple were seen holding hands as they trudged through the water just to cross the road as the town was battered by intense rainfall in Berry on Saturday
Footage shows cars struggling to make their way through roads that were completely submerged in brown water in Berry on NSW’s South Coast on Saturday
Horses had to be rescued from a paddock near Canberra by SES workers which was completely drenched in the downpour
FIVE DAY WEATHER FORECAST
Monday: Min 10. Max 17. Showers
Tuesday: Min 11. Max 18. Showers
Wednesday: Min 10. Max 19. Cloudy
Thursday: Min 11. Max 22. Sunny
Friday: Min 11. Max 21. Shower or two
Monday: Min 10. Max 21. Cloudy
Tuesday: Min 10. Max 22. Sunny
Wednesday: Min 11. Max 24. Cloudy
Thursday: Min 13 Max 27. Sunny
Friday: Min 14. Max 27. Sunny
Monday: Min 5. Max 17. Sunny
Tuesday: Min 9. Max 15. Showers
Wednesday: Min 9. Max 16. Showers
Thursday: Min 9. Max 16. Showers
Friday: Min 8. Max 16. Shower or two
Monday: Min 3. Max 13. Windy
Tuesday: Min -1. Max 14. Morning Frost, Cloudy
Wednesday: Min 4. Max 12. Showers
Thursday: Min 4. Max 16. Showers
Friday: Min 4. Max 16. Shower or two
Source: Bureau of Meteorology
Monday: Min 7. Max 16. Cloudy
Tuesday: Min 7. Max 15. Late Showers
Wednesday: Min 11. Max 16. Showers
Thursday: Min 11. Max 18. Showers
Friday: Min 10. Max 17. Showers
Monday: Min 20. Max 32. Sunny
Tuesday: Min 19. Max 31. Sunny
Wednesday: Min 19. Max 31. Sunny
Thursday: Min 20 Max 31. Sunny
Friday: Min 21 Max 31. Sunny
Monday: Min 3. Max 12. Cloudy
Tuesday: Min 1. Max 13. Cloudy
Wednesday: Min 6. Max 14. Showers
Thursday: Min 5. Max 15. Showers
Friday:Min 7. Max 15. Shower or two
Monday: Min 10. Max 17 Showers,
Tuesday: Min 11. Max 17. Showers Easing
Wednesday: Min 10. Max. 17 Showers
Thursday: Min 7. Max 16. Partly cloudy
Friday: Min 7. Max 19. Partly cloudy
Source: Daily Mail AU