Sydney Floods: Terrifying moment family's driveway disappears

·5-min read

A family was forced to flee their Sydney home on Tuesday after a landslide suddenly swallowed part of their driveway.

The Buksh family said they never thought their property in the foothills of the Blue Mountains would be at risk, despite widespread evacuations, floodwater warnings and relentless rain plaguing NSW for over a week.

“We're so far up, we've been through bushfires, came very close to being evacuated for that as well, never in a million years did we expect our driveway to be the first thing to go,” mum Rasleen Buksh told A Current Affair.

The Buksh family's home at Emu Heights teetering on the edge of the landslide.
The Buksh family said they never thought their property in the foothills of the Blue Mountains would be at risk of a landslide. Source: A Current Affair

On Tuesday morning, Ms Buksh said she noticed a few trees and rocks that had surrounded her Emu Heights home had disappeared.

But just a few hours later, a large chunk of her front yard crumbled into the earth below.

“I told the kids to stay here so I can go and have a look and there's a big gaping hole, so I gave [husband] Naizal a call right away, and I said, ‘I don’t care what you're doing. Drop everything. Come home’,” she told the publication.

The family said authorities gave them just 10 minutes to pack anything important and leave the property.

Ms Buksh said it “felt like an out-of-body experience”.

Mr and Mrs Buksh with their son in front of their home.
On Tuesday morning, Ms Buksh said she noticed a few trees and rocks near her home had disappeared. Source: A Current Affair

Her husband said his biggest fear is losing their home, as the ground is still very wet and continuing to slide.

“You think it will never happen to you, until it physically happens to you,” Mr Buksh said.

Although engineers have said the house is safe, they are still worried and will wait another couple of weeks before moving back in, the family said.

The Buksh family looking at the landslide in Emu Heights.
Mr Buksh said his biggest fear is losing their home. Source: A Current Affair

Damaging winds and surf to smash NSW coastline

The rain has eased in NSW but flooding continues and a new threat has emerged with damaging winds threatening to topple trees and down powerlines.

The Bureau of Meteorology says gusts in excess of 90km/h are expected for the Mid-North Coast, Central Coast, Hunter, Sydney, Illawarra and South Coast regions on Wednesday but will ease in the afternoon.

Wind gusts of 111 km/h were recorded at Molineux Point in Botany Bay at 9.30 pm on Tuesday, and nearby at Sydney Airport 94 km/h wind gusts were record, the bureau said.

A damaging surf warning is also in place from north of Newcastle to Bega.

The east coast low that brought the rain is now off the Illawarra coast and moving south. Coastal erosion is likely for southerly facing beaches on the South Coast, in Illawarra and in Sydney’s metropolitan area, BoM said.

The torrential rain that has battered the east coast for almost two weeks has eased, but flooding continues and there are more than 60 evacuation orders across NSW.

There's major flooding along the Hawkesbury River in western Sydney at North Richmond, Windsor, Sackville, Lower Portland and Wisemans Ferry.

SES Assistant Commissioner Sean Kearns says the river is still rising with a peak of 14.3 metres expected at noon.

"They are saying it could get as high if not higher than what people experienced in March last year," he told Sydney radio 2GB on Wednesday.

Roseville Bridge in Sydney flooding.
Roseville Bridge in a photo shared online which shows a handful of cars partially submerged as water cascades over its edges. Source: Twitter/Jason Falinski MP

Flood warnings issued as rivers keep rising

Along the Upper Nepean at Wallacia river levels fell below the major flood level of 11 metres early on Wednesday with moderate flooding at Menangle, Camden and Wallacia.

Many rivers are likely to continue flooding until peaks subside.

The SES said major flooding was happening along the Colo River and in the Hunter region. Bulga southwest of Singleton could see worse floods than last year on Wednesday morning, with major flooding likely to reach Singleton as well.

Sydney Trains is warning the severe weather is causing significant disruption and delays and is advising commuters to avoid non-essential travel.

Sydney floods: 40,000 people under evacuation orders

Around 40,000 people in NSW are under evacuation orders, including in dozens of suburbs around Greater Sydney, after unrelenting torrential rain on Tuesday.

Sydney's northern beaches copped the worst of the downpour with about 2000 people in low-lying areas near Manly Dam in Sydney's north warned to prepare to evacuate as the dam began spilling.

People were living in the vicinity of Narrabeen Lagoon were ordered to evacuate by 7pm and warned they could be trapped without power. Some residents were later allowed to return.

Thousands lose power

About 4500 homes and businesses lost power in Shoalhaven, the Illawarra and Southern Highlands on Tuesday afternoon as storms downed trees and powerlines.

Endeavour Energy said about 1700 homes and businesses near flooding rivers in western Sydney were also without power on Tuesday night, and a further 300 were expected to lose power overnight.

The NSW State Emergency Service received nearly 3000 calls for help in the past 24-hours.

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