One person has died, two police officers have been injured and almost 100 flights cancelled as Sydney copped a month’s worth of rain within hours.
A series of intense thunderstorms battered the coast from Newcastle down to Wollongong on Wednesday, wreaking havoc on the morning commute as train stations were left underwater.
A person was killed in a crash on The Esplanade in Thornleigh, on the city’s upper north shore, while a tree fell on two police officers who were trying to help drivers trapped on a flooded road in North Ryde.
A probationary constable suffered a suspected broken leg and has been taken to hospital in a serious condition, while her partner suffered a possible concussion.
Forecasters expect the deluge will continue into the late afternoon with strong winds, rain and hail.
The city received 106mm before in the 24-hour period before 9am. Mosman near the Spit Bridge received 118mm, Chatswood 105mm, Abbotsford 97mm and Sydney Olympic Park 70mm.
The highest recorded rainfall on Wednesday was at Porters Creek Dam, which already copped 154mm by the late morning.
As the downpour continued, NSW Police warned commuters and motorists to “delay their journey” until the flooding subsides.
Ferries from Parramatta were cancelled during the deluge with the Parramatta River overflowing and swallowing bench chairs and bins.
BOM’s severe weather manager Simon Louis said the rain wasn’t expected to last long but “quite intense” falls would develop in the morning and persist through the afternoon.
He expects many areas to receive 50 to 100mm with some localised parts exceeding 150mm. By 7am, some areas had already exceeded the monthly average rainfall.
Sydney’s average rainfall for November is 84mm. It is the greatest amount of rain to fall on a November day in 44 years.
‘Horrendous’ conditions as police warn drivers
NSW Police described the conditions as “horrendous” and urged drivers to delay their trips.
Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy from the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command said road user should “reconsider” driving on Wednesday.
“The conditions we are experiencing today are some of the worst I’ve ever seen, and I am appealing to everyone, motorists and pedestrians alike, to take care and get to their destination safely,” Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.
Avoid Parramatta Road around Flood Street (Petersham), it is, literally flooded! pic.twitter.com/PeNjXxYLNX
— Laura Banks (@laurakatebanks) November 27, 2018
Chaos at Sydney’s airport
There have been delays and cancellations at Sydney Airport due to the weather event.
A single runway is being used. The delays are set to continue throughout the afternoon with the winds reaching up to 70km/h.
Passengers have been advised there is an estimated one-hour delay on most flights and that timeframe could increase in the afternoon.
Storms in Sydney are expected to impact some flights today. Please be sure to check our flight status page for the latest information: https://t.co/o98GcxDMsM.
— Qantas (@Qantas) November 27, 2018
It encouraged passengers to check its flight status page for info.
Passengers can check the status of their flights on Sydney Airport’s website.
Train stations left underwater
Videos and photos appear to show flooding at major Sydney train stations.
Lewisham and Town Hall stations were seen inundated with water.
Commuters at Lewisham Station were seen walking through ankle-deep water before firefighters started pumping it out.
Trains on the T3 Bankstown Line have resumed normal service.
Earlier, they weren’t running in both directions between Sydenham and Campsie due to flooding at Marrickville.
No Light Rail services are running between Central and Dulwich Hill due to flooding in a number of locations, with replacement buses being organised, NSW Police said.
“There are also a number of bus delays through suburbs including Pymble, Strathfield, Homebush and Turramurra,” police said.
NSW Police wrote on Facebook, Parramatta River ferries are not running between Parramatta and Sydney Olympic Park as the “weir has overflowed”.
Buses are being organised to replace services.
Warning to take care on the road
The bureau has also warned road users to take extreme care as reduced visibility in heavy rain will make road conditions dangerous in all suburbs around the state.
Live Traffic Sydney tweeted O’Riordan Street is currently closed between Robey Street and Qantas Drive due to flooding.
Flooding has also closed one of the three northbound lanes is also closed on Pennant Hills Road at Nelson Street, and Parramatta Road between Concord Road and George Street.
NSW Police said drivers, riders, cyclists and pedestrians needed to take extra care, increase their visibility with headlights and bright clothing and increase braking distances.
“We’re asking all road users to perhaps reconsider the need to be on the road through what will be a severe rain event,” Chief Inspector Phillip Brooks told reporters on Tuesday.
— bondibro (@bondiibro) November 27, 2018
SES Assistant Commissioner Scott Hanckel even advised people try to arrange to work from home if possible.
He was hopeful the SES would have thousands of volunteers available to call on across the South Coast, Hunter and Sydney metro areas, should people need help with fallen trees or flooding.
Ausgrid Chief Operating Officer Trevor Armstrong said people should prepare for the rain and wind before they arrive by doing a quick check on yards and putting away loose items.
Once offshore, the weather system is expected to deliver damaging winds to coastal areas and provide hazardous surf into Thursday but is expected to ease from mid-morning.
— Deck the Halls 🎄 (@channelclem) November 27, 2018
— Peter Fegan (@PeterFegan7) November 27, 2018