Sydney has experienced torrential rain on a scale not seen in more than 20 years as flood waters engulfed NSW and wrecked havoc.
Since 9am on Friday, between 200 and 400mm of rain has soaked Sydney, the Central Coast and the Blue Mountains. The last time Sydney and the NSW coast had this level of drenching was mid-2016.
“But we've surpassed those figures and you have to go back as far back as 1998 to see totals like we'll get," a Bureau of Meteorology spokeswoman told AAP.
Sydney has seen 90.6mm of rain since 9am this morning and just recorded 110km/h gust at Fort Denison. Another band of intense rain and strong winds is forecast to move into the Southern Shire in the next 30mins. Warnings: https://t.co/mSIx4e9XzZ @NSWSES pic.twitter.com/b9gEeOxe8O— Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) February 9, 2020
A Weatherzone spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia many places in Sydney through to the Central Coast and further north had generally seen the biggest rainfall in more than three and a half years.
Meanwhile in the Tweed Heads area about 500mm of rain has been recorded since Friday, and the Byron and Ballina area has received 400 to 500.
Since 9am on Sunday, Sydney’s Observatory Hill has recorded 114.4mm of rain, while Katoomba observed 193mm.
“[Blue Mountains’] Warragamba Dam has gained more than 300mm in that time,” the Weatherzone spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia.
While the dam is swelling to the highest level in years and the rain is providing some relief to the parched state which has been ravaged by bushfires in recent months, a drought prior to that, the weekend’s wild weather has caused carnage.
As at 7.11pm (local time) on Sunday, the NSW SES has advised “people within Narrabeen Lagoon to evacuate the high danger area using Pittwater Road or Ocean Street” by 10.30pm.
“Once floodwater 2.4m the Pittwater Road will be cut,” the SES said.
“If you remain in the area after 10:30pm you will be trapped without power, water and other essential services and it may be too dangerous to rescue you.
“This flood will be higher than the 2016 flood of the Narrabeen Lagoon.”
NSW Police added: “The Narrabeen Lagoon catchment measures more than 50 square kilometres.
“That entire area's been deluged with rain, meaning vast amounts of water are headed headed downhill to the lagoon.
“Combine that with tonight's (Sunday’s) high tide and severe flooding is inevitable.”
Due to the heavy rainfall, the lagoon’s water is rising rapidly and another high tide scheduled for 10.45pm.
Residents in Moorebank, Chipping Norton and Milperra residents were also told to get out by 7pm towards Liverpool.
The SES has issued a warning for residents in the North Richmond Lowlands, saying people should prepare to evacuate.
“As a result of the flood level predicted by the Bureau of Meteorology for North Richmond Lowlands
at 4:30pm 9th February, residents within the areas listed below should prepare to evacuate within
the next 4hrs hours,” the service’s website said at 4.45pm.
“The warning area covers all properties bounded by the Hawkesbury River, Brahma Road to rear of
Poor Clares property, Douglas Street to Bells Line of Road at Redbank Creek.”
‘Phenomena which happens infrequently’
The ABC’s Costa Georgiadis live streamed footage of Sydney’s Nielsen Park on Sunday afternoon, with surfers braving the conditions to try and catch a wave.
“Welcome to Sydney Harbour,” Mr Georgiadis is heard saying in the video.
He explains the waves which have wrapped around south head have created an “incredible situation where you get sets of waves coming in to what is normally a still harbour”.
“This is a phenomena which happens infrequently,” the gardening presenter is heard saying in the Periscope video.
“I’m currently looking north from Nielsen Park across to the north side of the harbour.”
Buses replace #BlueMountainsLine trains between Mount Victoria & Lawson due to a tree in the overhead wiring at Blackheath & a landslip at Leura caused by severe weather conditions.— NSW TrainLink West (@TrainLinkWest) February 9, 2020
Trains continue to run btwn Lawson and the City
Please allow plenty of extra travel time. pic.twitter.com/1PSY0ZiA1g
Further west along the Blue Mountains train line, the extreme weather had damaged railway tracks.
NSW Train Link West shared photos of the train line, which explained why buses would be replacing trains between Mount Victoria and Lawson.
The severe weather condition caused overhead wiring issues at Blackheath and a landslip at Leura.
Passengers of the Blue Mountains train line are being urged to allow extra travel time and delay non-essential travel.
Some stations across the state may be affected by the weather, with power supply issues impacting platform screens, lighting and Opal card readers.
About 5.30pm on Sunday, Ausgrid crews were working to repair more than 2000 fallen powerlines, which impacted 77,000 customer, leaving them without power across Sydney, the Central Coast and Newcastle.
Our crews are working to repair more than 2000 hazards like fallen powerlines. 77000 customers are without power across Sydney, Central Coast & Newcastle.Crews will work through the night to get the power back on. Thank you for being patient in these trying conditions pic.twitter.com/33J26THBsc— Ausgrid (@Ausgrid) February 9, 2020
Since Ausgrid’s initial tweet, power has been restored to Sydney Olympic Park Wentworth Point, Rocky Point, Tacoma South, Tuggerawong and surrounding suburbs.
Endeavour Energy says a further 26,000 customers are without power in Sydney, the Blue Mountains and Southern Highlands regions, according to AAP.
"Crews are reporting extensive damage after very strong winds brought down power lines in many areas," Endeavour Energy said.
Fallen tree hospitalises four in Sydney’s CBD
NSW Ambulance responded to reports of a tree falling on a car on Bridge Street in the CBD just after 1.30pm, with five crews responding.
Paramedics treated five people at the scene for neck pain and spinal precautions.
Four of the passengers, two men and two women, believed to be in their 50s were transported to hospital in stable conditions.
“This wet and windy weather is really wreaking havoc on our roads today, with paramedics responding to five car accidents every hour since Friday night,” NSW Ambulance Duty Operations Manager Inspector Giles Buchanan said in a statement on Sunday.
“We’ve responded to multiple trees that had fallen onto cars, trees into houses and units, and people trapped in cars in flood waters.”
“This was a lucky escape for the passengers who were in the car when a tree fell on them in the city today.
“Please do not underestimate these conditions, they have the potential to be deadly.”
– with AAP
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