The NSW South Coast remains on high alert on Monday after multiple towns were ordered to evacuate as heavy rain and wild weather lashed the region.
The NSW State Emergency Service issued three evacuation orders late on Sunday night after up to 200mm of rain hit a number of towns including Moruya, Nowra and inland at Captains Flat over the 24 hours to that evening, with up to 300mm in isolated areas.
Thousands of residents in the Nowra suburbs of Terara, East Nowra, Worrigee and North Nowra have been told to leave as have residents in Moruya and Sussex Inlet.
People in low-lying areas of Sussex Inlet were told flood levels were expected to impact properties.
⚠️FLOOD EVACUATION ORDER - Terara, East Nowra, Worrigee and North Nowra— NSW SES (@NSWSES) August 9, 2020
NSW SES is directing people within Terara, East Nowra, Worrigee and North Nowra in the following location to Evacuate by 10:00pm Sun 9th Aug 2020. Continue reading https://t.co/BCnxAe6tsR#SouthCoastFloods pic.twitter.com/dY4YOVIIuW
Sussex Inlet was forecast to rise to 1.2 metres with the high tide on Sunday night and the nearby river at Island Point Road was expected to cause minor flooding.
Extensive flooding has occurred along the Deua River, which peaked at eight metres on Sunday afternoon, at Wamban.
There was also moderate flooding along the Shoalhaven River, but this was expected to worsen through Monday with the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) warning the river could peak near 4.4 metres by the afternoon.
The BoM told residents to expect “major flooding” on Monday.
⚠️ #Major #Flood Warning issued for #Shoalhaven River at #Nowra and #Terara, Major flooding expected on Monday Afternoon. See https://t.co/pKLUba0wzU for details and updates; follow advice from @NSWSES. #NSWFloods pic.twitter.com/VhynwlDKQy— Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) August 9, 2020
As rivers across the region continued to rise, debris as a result of devastating bushfires which tore through large parts of the South Coast just seven months ago was being washed downstream, with an increased risk of mudslides.
NSW SES Deputy Commissioner Daniel Austin stressed the dangers of driving in floodwater due to increased debris, telling ABC News “you just don’t know” what’s in the water.
The SES has responded to more than 700 calls for help and conducted more than 18 flood rescues across the weekend with most calls coming from Berry, Nowra, Broughton Vale and Gerringong.
More than 20 homes at Broughton Vale near Berry were also cut off by floodwater.
Wild weather moves north through Sydney
Bureau of Meteorology senior flood hydrologist Justin Robinson said heavy rains were expected to ease on the south coast and move towards Sydney, the Central Coast and possibly into the Hunter.
Yet strong winds are expected to lash large parts of the NSW coast, with severe weather warning for damaging winds and damaging surf has been issued for people in metropolitan Sydney, Illawarra, Hunter, South Coast, parts of the Mid-North Coast and Central Tablelands regions.
There is also further concern for Wamberal residents whose homes are on the beachfront after weeks of coastal erosion forced them to evacuate their homes.
The heavy rain has also impacted Sydney, with drivers reporting flooded roads and high winds in the city's south.
Weather & #flood situation continues to develop & evolve tonight. Flood #Warnings in effect especially in south of #NSW & #ACT. But as the radar shows #rain & #wind are pushing further north. Keep an eye out for new advice and updates https://t.co/Z9HWVSUJGQ@NSWSES @nswpolice pic.twitter.com/zUfbAlU9qn— Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) August 9, 2020
Mr Austin said there had been about 400 calls in Sydney, mainly regarding uprooted trees and damaged houses and caravans.
“Those winds will continue throughout the day. So again, our usual message is around – be careful where you park,” he said.
“Don't park under trees. Secure things that are outside, and again, if you need to travel – be wary of where you're travelling.”
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