‘Five in one’: Wild scenes as heavy rain hits

Picture: Weather Zone
Flood warnings have been issues for swathes of NSW as the state faces another day of heavy rainfall. Picture: Weather Zone

Residents on NSW’s east coast are being warned to be prepared for flash flooding, as the state continues to be smashed by heavy rains.

The wild weather hammered the state on Thursday night, with heavy rain, thunder and lightning smashing Sydney.

A “five-in-one” lightning strike struck the city at 8pm, with two lightning bolts appearing to hit the Harbour Bridge.

The NSW State Emergency Service (SES) were hit with 447 calls for help, including 49 flood rescues since midnight, after heavy rain caused flash flooding in the South Coast, Illawarra and Sydney Metropolitan regions.

WaterNSW also confirmed Warragamba Dam has begun spilling as of 4.20am Friday.

The incredible scenes were seen in Syndey on Thursday night
The incredible scenes were seen in Syndey on Thursday night

NSW SES State Duty Commander Acting Assistant Commissioner Dallas Burnes said volunteers have been working 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.

He urged motorists in rain-affected regions to reconsider non-essential travel this morning,” Assistant Commissioner Burnes said.

“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.”

A severe weather warning remains in place for heavy rainfall which may lead to flash flooding in the Illawarra, South Coast, Metropolitan Sydney and Southern Tablelands districts.

Assistant Commissioner Burnes said residents should stay alert and stay up to date with the latest warnings.

“This is a dynamic weather system where conditions can change rapidly,” he said.

“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.”

Flood warnings remain in place for Picton, Shoalhaven, Wollondilly and the Hawkesbury Nepean.

Areas in NSW’s south coast could also be battered by up to isolated falls of up to 130mm.

Between 9am Thursday to 5am Friday Cringila has been hit with 206mm, Port Kembla was smashed with 197mm, and drenchings of 146mm in Wollongong.

Between 8am Thursday to 1am Friday, the NSW SES Wollongong Unit responded to 27 rescues and 110 other incidents.

A weakening trough will continue to bring rain to the Illawarra and South Coast regions throughout Friday, before conditions are forecast to ease in the evening.

Picture: NSW SES Wollongong Unit
As at 1am Friday, NSW SES Wollongong, Dapto and Shellharbour units have had calls to some 27 rescues and 110 other incidents since 8am Thursday. Picture: NSW SES Wollongong Unit

Minor to moderate flood warnings are also active at Menangle Bridge, Penrith, North Richmond and Windsor, as authorities nervously monitoring the Hawkesbury and Nepean Rivers.

The Bureau of Meteorology reports the Hawkesbury Nepean Valley was pummelled by up to 147 totals in the 24 hours up to 5am Friday, with more heavy rainfall on the way.

Homes in Menangle in NSW’s Macarthur region are under a ‘Watch and Act’ notice, with floodwaters at Menangle Bridge expected to hit 9.2m on Friday morning, and 10m by midday.

Low-lying homes in Picton’s CBD and Stone Quarry Creek have also been told to prepare to evacuate.

The NSW SES advices people to close monitor the constantly changing situation, and avoid flood waters.

Picture: Weather Zone
Flood warnings have been issues for swathes of NSW as the state faces another day of heavy rainfall. Picture: Weather Zone

Parts of Penrith in Sydney’s west could also be hit with minor flooding from midday, with the Nepean River expected to reach 3.9m.


Since 9am Thursday, Sydney’s Observatory Hill has recorded 56.2mm of rain.

Minor flooding may also occur at the Cooks River at Tempe Bridge in the city’s south, with high evening tides expected for Friday evening.

The neighbouring suburb of Windsor and its surrounds could be hit by rising water levels from Friday evening, with the Hawkesbury River forecast to reach minor flood levels (5.8m) on Friday night, and moderate flood levels of 7m by Saturday morning.

Drivers in Sydney’s southern suburbs have also been put on notice. The Bureau warned flooded roads and reduced visibility will lead to dangerous driving conditions, and urged motorists to take “extreme care” ahead of the long weekend.

However a better forecast is expected to clear the rain from Saturday and Sunday.