Australia

NSW towns evacuated over flood fears

Three NSW towns are being evacuated due to flooding fears as heavy rain continues to lash the state, with millions across the state told to brace for severe weather conditions tonight.Mudslides filled with bushfire debris and flash flooding are also contributing to the danger.A severe weather warning for damaging winds and damaging surf has also…

Three NSW towns are being evacuated due to flooding fears as heavy rain continues to lash the state, with millions across the state told to brace for severe weather conditions tonight.

Mudslides filled with bushfire debris and flash flooding are also contributing to the danger.

A severe weather warning for damaging winds and damaging surf has also been issued for people in metropolitan Sydney, Illawarra and parts of mid north coast, Hunter, south coast and Central Tablelands regions.

On Sunday, residents in low-lying areas of Sussex Inlet and those within Moruya’s CBD area, on the state’s far south coast, were being directed to leave by the SES as flooding was expected.

The authority also directed people in parts of Nowra including some areas of Terara, East Nowra, Worrigee and North Nowra to evacuate by 10pm on Sunday.

The Bureau of Meteorology said moderate flooding was occurring along the Shoalhaven River at Nowra and Terara. “Major flooding is expected on Monday,” it said.

Major flooding also occurred along the Deua River at Wamban on Sunday afternoon, and river levels at Moruya were expected to peak later tonight, near the moderate flood level.

Authorities warned of possible moderate flooding at Sussex Inlet on the high tide at midnight Sunday.

Minor flooding is occurring along the Queanbeyan River, downstream of Queanbeyan Queens Bridge and at Oaks Estate, as well as along St Georges Basin.

It’s expected that there will also be minor flooding along the Snowy River to McKillops Bridge.

More than 300mm of rain has fallen across the South coast already this weekend.

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People have been told to brace for damaging winds and surf as well as a warning that the heavy rainfall could cause flash flooding in Sydney, Newcastle and the Blue Mountains.

River flooding is tipped to continue throughout the Illawarra.

The rain should ease later tonight, however, damaging winds are expected to return again tomorrow morning for Sydney and the Hunter Region.

Those on the central coast could face further coastal erosion, as rough surf is expected to batter the coastline with waves in excess of five metres.

A hazardous surf warning was issued for tomorrow across the Coffs Coast, Macquarie Coast, Hunter Coast, Sydney Coast, Illawarra Coast, Batemans Coast and Eden Coast.

On the south coast residents have spent their Sunday dodging flooded roads and preparing their house for the wild weather.

One evacuated Moruya resident told Channel 9 he was afraid of the impact flooding would have on the community, which is still recovering from bushfires earlier this year.

“I’m actually concerned for a lot of the people that have been through the fires, the COVID,” he said.

“They’re actually 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.”

Earlier today the SES were forced to issue a warning to residents in Queanbeyan that the rising river was not a “tourist attraction”.

Despite extreme weather warnings residents had flocked to see the rising water, with police forced to get involved.

“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 statement shared to Facebook.

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.”

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