Two bodies found in Sydney canal as NSW flood emergency escalates

The bodies of a man and woman have been found in a western Sydney stormwater canal, bringing the death toll from the NSW flood crisis to eight.

Emergency services were called to the Coopers Creek Canal at Wentworthville on Tuesday morning after reports a body had been sighted in the water.

Police had earlier issued an appeal to find 67-year-old Hemalathasolhyr Satchithanantham and her 34-year-old son Bramooth after their Mazda 3 was found in the stormwater canal on Monday afternoon.

Pictured is the Mazda3, which was abandoned in floodwaters in Sydney on Monday.
NSW Police became concerned for a missing mother and son when a Mazda 3 was found abandoned in a Sydney canal. Source: ABC News: Mark Reddie

An operation is under way with underwater specialist police resources, police divers and the NSW State Emergency Service.

It comes as up to 80,000 people across NSW are subject to evacuation orders as the flood crisis continues to wreak havoc across the entire coast.

A low pressure system off the Mid North Coast has brought torrential rain to the Hunter, Greater Sydney and NSW South Coast regions.

The intense rain is causing minor to major flooding from the Queensland border down to the Victorian border.

More evacuation orders across NSW

The SES issued evacuation orders to 60,000 people in 13 suburbs across Sydney's southwest and west along the Georges River overnight. On Tuesday residents of Sussex Inlet on the South Coast and Kempsey on the Mid North Coast were ordered to evacuate.

There are now 54 evacuation orders across the state, as well as 16 evacuation warnings and multiple flood warnings, current for vast swathes of NSW.

SES Commissioner Carlene York said the primary areas of concern were Kempsey, Georges River, the Hawkesbury Nepean River, Wollongong, Shoalhaven, St Georges Basin and Sussex Inlet.

"It's very dangerous out there. There's a lot of water on the roads and it's prone to flash flooding as the heavy rains come," Ms York said.

The SES received more than 2500 calls for help in 24 hours and undertook about 200 flood rescues, mostly in Sydney.

SES volunteers launch an inflatable rescue boat in Camden, South Western Sydney, Tuesday, March 8, 2022.
People in south and southwestern Sydney suburbs have been told to evacuate as quickly as possible amid warnings rain could lead to more flooding and landslide. Source: AAP

Rain to ease in Sydney on Wednesday

Sydney has endured 16 consecutive days of rain, and no reprieve from the deluge is expected until Wednesday and no sign of sunshine until Thursday.

The Bureau of Meteorology is warning saturated soil and swollen rivers could lead to landslides and flooding with rainfall of up to 200mm possible in Sydney's west and southwest.

Wind gusts of up to 90 km/h are forecast, stretching south to the Illawarra region into Wednesday.

The bureau's Dean Narramore said widespread heavy rain overnight brought "devastating flash-flooding to some suburbs".

"It was a dangerous night through parts of southern and southwestern Sydney," he said.

"Travel is definitely dangerous today not only because of rainfall ... Tonight we'll see possible trees and power lines down and landslips and flooding of roads.

"It's still dangerous times out there."

There has been 100mm to 200mm of rain in the past 24 hours.

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