Hundreds of NSW residents have been ordered to evacuate as unrelenting rain sparks widespread major flooding and a raging whirlpool opens up on a suburban street.
Residents in parts of Chipping Norton and Camden in Sydney’s southwest were issued with an immediate warning to leave on Thursday afternoon due to rising waters.
In Camden, those in Exeter Street west of John Street, Milford Road Camden West, and Peter Avenue between Onslow Avenue and Belgenny Avenue, have been told by the NSW SES to leave by 6pm.
The same evacuation order also applies to Cawder Rd between Barsden Street and Murray St, Sheathers Lane, Kirkham Lane, Menangle Rd near Racecourse Rd and Poplar Caravan Park.
An earlier alert was issued for Chipping Norton residents to leave Newbridge Road between Riverside Road and east to Georges River, Davy Robinson Drive, Rickard Road and Arthur Street by 3pm.
Parts of Camden (pictured) have been ordered to evacuate as the southwest Sydney suburb is hit with major flooding
The alerts came after people in parts of Woronora and Bonnet Bay in the city’s south were told to evacuate in the morning.
Warnings for possible evacuations are also in place for Stuarts Point on the mid-north coast, and Stonequarry Creek, and Picton in southwestern Sydney.
Major flooding is expected on the Nepean River, with Menangle and Wallacia also expected to be affected in coming days.
Flood levels at Menangle could surpass the record set in April 1988, Bureau of Meteorology senior hydrologist Ailsa Schofield said.
The ’88 flood peak was higher than the levels reached in 2021 and in 2022, she said.
‘There is also the significant risk of continued flash flooding in the Greater Sydney, Upper Hunter, Illawarra and South Coast areas from today and into the weekend,’ Ms Scofield said.
NSW SES issued a notice urging residents in parts of Camden to clear out by 6pm as the area goes under water
Sydneysiders have been urged to stay off the roads. Pictured is flash flooding on Pittwater Road on the Northern Beaches on Thursday morning
‘So I’m really urging residents to stay up to date with the local weather and warning information and stay safe.’
Water is spilling at Warragamba Dam, which was already at capacity before the rain began.
‘This is a highly dynamic situation,’ State Emergency Service Acting Commissioner Daniel Austin said.
‘These events are moving exceptionally quickly as was witnessed in the Illawarra this morning … in the space of about three-quarters of an hour significant downpours, significant flash flooding, and a number of properties impacted by those flash events.’
The SES has responded to almost 700 requests for assistance and conducted 25 rescues, the majority for people caught out by flash flooding.
SES volunteers head out in a boat to help residents in Camden, who are under evacuation orders
The overnight deluge has already caused widespread damage on Rose Bay North (pictured)
Six-hourly rain totals between 60 and 100mm are forecast for Sydney on Thursday
Incredible images captured in the city’s eastern suburbs on Thursday show the relentless rainfall pouring over the side of the cliffs and into the ocean below.
Towering water-front mansions in Diamond Bay and Dover Heights were seen being drenched in the deluge, which cascaded off the cliff face in heavy streams.
The wet and wild conditions saw the cliffs battered with large waves and powerful sea spray gusts as the city surpassed its average annual rainfall.
The rainfall showed no sign of stopping on Thursday afternoon with the Nepean River at Menangle having risen more than 13 metres in the past 24 hours.
The river passed major flood levels by two metres by 11am on Thursday morning.
Canterbury Bankstown council has asked Milperra residents to prepare for ‘potential flooding and evacuations’ as the Georges River in Sydney’s south and west continues to rise and threatens to overflow.
Sydney’s rocky cliff’s have been transformed into rushing waterfalls as a rain bomb continues to drench the city in torrential downpours (pictured, wild weather in the city’s east)
A severe weather warning has been issued for much of the NSW coast. Areas in purple should expect at least 100mm of rain
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued warnings for potential major flooding for Menangle, Liverpool and Milperra and a flood watch for other catchments.
‘Rainfall is expected to intensify around coastal areas of Wollongong today and continue tomorrow. The rainfall is expected to ease on Saturday,’ it said.
In Corrimal, in Wollongong’s north, powerful flooding appears to have whipped up a whirlpool in the middle of a suburban street.
Footage posted online shows the body of brown murky water gushing down the road before hitting a fence, causing part of the stream to churn in a circle.
NSW SES acting commissioner Daniel Austin on Thursday afternoon said flash floods were developing in the space of 45 minutes in some areas.
The commissioner said the SES has responded to over 680 requests for assistance as a result of the wild weather and had performed 25 flood rescues.
It’s been a wet night on Sydney roads with some areas receiving up to 120mm overnight on Wednesday
He asked that the community remained vigilant and responded to evacuation notices, adding the state had a ‘long way to go’ before the weather plateaued.
Meanwhile at Coalcliff near Wollongong, about 60km south of Sydney, the downpour has triggered a landslide at the Seacliff Bridge.
Emergency crews attended the scene and diverted oncoming traffic after one lane of the Lawrence Hargrave Drive had to be closed.
As the east coast continues to be smashed by more torrential rain, millions of locals in coastal areas have been ordered to stay at home.
Rainfall continues to drench areas south of Newcastle, two hours north of Sydney, with the deluge expected to cause rivers to overflow and significant flash flooding.
Jetties were pictured underwater along the Woronora River in the Sutherland Shire with residents reporting boats and pontoons floating away downstream.
Large swathes of the southern Central Coast have been pounded with heavy rain receiving 100mm overnight, with another 100 to 200mm forecast for the area.
New South Wales is already saturated after being hit by repeated flooding in recent months, with the Northern Rivers area devastated by two deluges within weeks and Sydney drenched in its wettest March on record.
Sydneysiders were faced with a difficult commute to work on Thursday as the city was pounded with torrential rain that showed no time of stopping
Dozens of roads are closed across Sydney, including Audley Weir (pictured Wednesday night)
More than 100mm of rain fell on parts of southern Sydney overnight, with a further 140mm expected to be dumped on coastal areas in just six hours on Thursday.
The Harbour City has surpassed its average annual rainfall total of 1213mm, setting a new record for the fastest time to receive a year’s worth of rain.
An urgent evacuation warning has been issued has been low lying parts of Woronora and Bonnet Bay in Sydney’s south and Picton in the south-west outskirts to get out now before it’s too late.
A severe weather warning is in place for southern and central NSW, metropolitan Sydney, the Illawarra, the South Coast, the Central and Southern Tablelands and parts of the Hunter.
Severe thunderstorms are also predicted inland for the Central West Slopes and Plains near Parkes and the Upper West near Cobar.
BoM on Thursday warned there was an increased risk of landslides, with one already killing a British father and son hiking with their family in the Blue Mountains.
A flood watch has also been issued for central NSW, with minor to moderate flooding forecast for the Southern Coastal Rivers including the Hawkesbury-Nepean, the Macquarie and Queanbeyan rivers on Thursday and Friday.
An urgent warning was issued for low lying parts of Woronora and Bonnet Bay in Sydney’s south and Picton in the south-west outskirts to evacuate on Thursday morning.
‘Floodwaters may isolate the area. If you remain in the area, you may be trapped without power, water and other essential services and it may be too dangerous to rescue you,’ an alert read.
‘Residents of areas expecting to be flooded should make plans to leave when advised to do so. Ensure you take pets and valuables with you.’
Sydney’s south-west is on high alert with major flooding expected at Liverpool and Milperra on Thursday afternoon.
At Coalcliff in Wollongong, about 60km southwest of Sydney, the downpour has triggered a landslide at the Seacliff Bridge (pictured)
Pictured: Flash flooding in Dee Why on Thursday turned a road into a river
Authorities have urged Sydney motorists to stay off the roads if possible.
‘We have seen widespread heavy rainfall overnight and it is expected to continue today with a high risk of flash flooding with lots of roads closed cut off and flooded,’ NSW SES assistant commissioner Dean Storey told Sunrise.
‘The key message for the community, particularly those getting up getting ready to go to work and hit the roads, is avoid unnecessary travel.
‘If you don’t have to take to the roads today, please avoid it. If you need to travel, drive to the conditions and never drive through those floodwaters.
‘If you live in a flood-prone area that is forecast to the impacted, have a plan in place and be ready to enact that plan if you are required to evacuate your home.’
Commuters battled a tough run into work from Sydney’s Northern Beaches, with Pittwater Road inundated with water.
Wakehurst Parkway is also closed between Narrabeen and Oxford Falls.
In the city’s south, the Illawarra Highway at Macquarie Pass is closed due to landslip while flooding has cut Audrey Road in the Royal National Park.
Some of Sydney could receive up to 250mm of rain on Thursday (pictured, Sydneysiders battling the wild weather on Wednesday)
Lawrence Hargrave Drive is closed in both directions on Seacliff Bridge between Coalcliff and Clifton due to a fallen tree.
Waterfalls have formed off the cliffs at Vaucluse in Sydney’s east after heavy rain on Thursday morning.
SES crews have responded to almost 600 requests for help in the last 24 hours, including seven flood rescues.
One man is lucky to be alive after a dramatic rescue from a flooded creek in Epping in Sydney’s north.
Sydney’s south copped an battering overnight, where Cronulla has received a 150mm drenching in the last 24 hours. Two thirds fell within three hours overnight.
Sydney Airport recorded 111mm, well above its average monthly rainfall for April.
Flood warnings are in place for 12 rivers across NSW, including the Hawkesbury, Nepean, Colo and Georges rivers.
As the east coast continues to be smashed by more torrential rain millions of locals in coastal areas have been ordered to stay at home (pictured, a landslide at Coalcliff, south of Sydney)
Minor warnings have been issued for the Hawkesbury River at Windsor and North Richmond and the Cooks River at Tempe Bridge and the Woronora River at Woronora Bridge.
Moderate flooding could occur on the Colo River at Putty Road.
Little Bay in Sydney’s south-east copped a 107mm drenching overnight while Darkes Forest on the south-west outskirts received 67mm within two hours.
On top of the wild weather, an oil spill has sparked havoc at Kurnell in Sydney’s south after a pump at the nearby Caltex Refinery, Australia’s largest fuel import terminal failed.
The weather is caused by a strong upper trough and embedded low amplifying over the centre of NSW, working to deepen another trough sitting off the coast.
The systems are expected to weaken on Friday morning.
‘Heavy and persistent showers over the coming days will increase the chance of flash flooding and landslips over already saturated catchments,’ BOM meteorologist Sarah Scully said on Wednesday.
Severe thunderstorms also pose a threat, including in northeast NSW.
‘They may produce localised heavy falls (but) it is not expected to produce that riverine flooding,’ Ms Scully said.
‘Instead, it’ll be more localised flash flooding.’
The state has been hit by repeat floods in recent months, with the Northern Rivers area devastated by two deluges within weeks and Sydney enduring a regular drenching.
Liverpool Mayor Ned Mannoun told Sydney radio 2GB on Thursday there was a sense of deja vu in the area following flooding last month.
‘We know what’s going to happen, we just hope it won’t get worse than last time,’ Mr Mannoun said.
Authorities issued a severe weather warning on Thursday for southern and central NSW, metropolitan Sydney, the Illawarra, the South Coast, the Central and Southern Tablelands, and parts of the Hunter.
Several schools have closed in Sydney’s south, the Illawarra and the South Coast, including Dapto High School, Kanahooka High School, Kurnell Public School, Terara Public School, and Woronora River Public School.
FOUR DAY FORECAST FOR WEATHER IN YOUR CITY:
Thursday: Sunny. Min 18 Max 32
Friday: Shower or two developing. Min 20 Max 27
Saturday: Partly cloudy. Min 14 Max 25
Sunday: Partly cloudy. Min 13 Max 23
Thursday: Partly cloudy. Min 13 Max 24
Friday: Mostly sunny. Min 14 Max 26
Saturday: Mostly sunny. Min 15 Max 27
Sunday: Partly cloudy. Min 17 Max 28
Thursday: Partly cloudy. Min 13 Max 24
Friday: Partly cloudy. Min 13 Max 23
Saturday: Partly cloudy. Min 16 Max 26
Sunday: Possible shower. Min 17 Max 26
Thursday: Mostly sunny. Min 8 Max 20
Friday: Sunny. Min 9 Max 21
Saturday: Sunny. Min 9. Max 24
Sunday: Shower or two. Min 14 Max 24
Thursday: Rain. Possible heavy falls. Min 12 Max 17
Friday: Rain. Min 11 Max 18
Saturday: Showers. Min 12 Max 21
Sunday: Partly cloudy. Min 11 Max 22
Thursday: Rain. Possible heavy falls. Min 17 Max 22
Friday: Rain. Min 17 Max 23
Saturday: Showers. Min 18 Max 24
Sunday: Shower or two. Min 17 Max 24
Thursday: Showers increasing. Min 20 Max 28
Friday: Showers. Min 20 Max 26
Saturday: Showers. Min 20 Max 27
Sunday: Shower or two. Min 19 Max 28
Thursday: Partly cloudy. Min 26 Max 34
Friday: Partly cloudy. Min 26 Max 34
Saturday: Partly cloudy. Min 26 Max 34
Sunday: Partly cloudy. Min 25 Max 34