Residents in Sydney's southwest are under evacuation orders as NSW's southern and central coast areas continue to battle relentless driving rain.
Flood warnings were issued for areas south and west of Sydney while residents and businesses in low-lying parts of suburbs including Camden, Wallacia, Liverpool, Georges Hall, Chipping Norton, Lansvale and Moorebank were told to get out before they got cut off by rising waters.
By Sunday morning, there was major flooding at Menangle in Macarthur, southwest of Sydney, with river levels exceeding those seen in March this year.
Riverine flooding was expected along the Hawkesbury and Colo Rivers from Sunday, with major flooding at North Richmond possible from the afternoon.
Authorities are confident they are ready to help NSW residents caught out by the wild weather, and avoid a repeat of their heavily criticised flood response earlier this year.
Defence force helicopters and troops remain on standby, while emergency services personnel are working around the clock.
The weather-front battering the state's east coast is forecast to get worse before it gets better, with wild winds, rough seas and heavy rain expected to last until Monday.
⚠️🌧💨 Our East Coast Low has formed off the coast of Port Macquarie and is set to track south and then towards the coast between #Newcastle and #Sydney.
Torrential rain, flooding, damaging winds and damaging surf likely throughout Sunday. pic.twitter.com/J1z8Qb2XNM
— NSW Incident Alerts (@nswincidents) July 2, 2022
'Doesn't look good'
Residents is southwest Sydney are warned to stay off the roads if they can. As much as 200mm of rain could fall on Sunday.
"This doesn't look good. 100mm already since 9am in southwest Sydney. Persistent heavy rain could continue for another 30 hours," Sky News chief meteorologist Thomas Saunders tweeted on Saturday evening.
With three flood rescues carried out on Friday and Saturday, people were urged to avoid non-essential trips as the deluge put a dampener on the opening weekend of the NSW school holidays.
Today’s rainfall forecast for Sydney comes on top of already major flooding in some areas. Follow any official evacuation orders, or otherwise try to stay at home if you can. It will be chaos on the roads, so stay off them if you can. pic.twitter.com/Pq232GYfuU
— Stuart Khan (@stukhan) July 2, 2022
How bad the flooding will depend on rain over the next two days, with as much as 150mm forecast for Sydney (left), and Monday. A pared prediction for Monday suggests the east coast low won’t be hanging for low. (Better not get another one soon.) @BOM_au pic.twitter.com/SXyVSmas72
— Peter Hannam (@p_hannam) July 2, 2022
Flooding is also possible for the Hunter, Central Coast, the Greater Sydney region and the South Coast, with flood watches in place for catchments between Newcastle and Batemans Bay, including Sydney and the Illawarra.
Areas at risk include Newcastle, the Central Coast, Lake Macquarie, and the Upper Coxs, Colo, Macdonald, Woronora, Patterson, Williams and Lower Hunter rivers.
A severe weather warning for damaging winds and heavy rainfall was in place on Sunday for Sydney's metropolitan areas, the Illawarra, and parts of the Hunter, Central Tablelands, and Southern Tablelands forecast districts.
The Upper and Lower Nepean and Hawkesbury rivers are also causing concern as already-soaked catchments come in for another lengthy drenching.
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