Tuesday’s torrential downpours intensified Sydney’s flood disaster as hundreds more residents were forced to evacuate their homes as rivers quickly climbed over danger thresholds.
Authorities said that as of Tuesday, 50,000 people in New South Wales, the most of whom dwell in Sydney’s western suburbs, had either been ordered to evacuate or had been given a warning that they may do so.
Dominic Perrottet, the premier of New South Wales, told reporters, “This event is far from done.” “Please drive carefully when using our roads, wherever you are. Significant threats of flash floods still exist.”
Following a week-long vacation to Europe, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese arrived back in Australia on Tuesday. He announced he and Perrottet will tour the impacted areas on Wednesday.
Since the floods have been classified as a natural disaster by the federal government, those who have been affected by them can now access emergency aid.
As the coastal trough moves north, the most recent violent storm cell, which dumped a year’s worth of rain in some parts in three days, is set to diminish in Sydney starting on Tuesday, according to the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM).
However, because most river catchments were already close to capacity before the most recent downpour, the risk of flooding may continue through the rest of the week. Since Saturday, some areas have had rain totals of 800mm (31.5 inches), exceeding Australia’s 500mm yearly normal (20 inches).
The mid-north coast of the state could get 90mm (3.5 inches) of rain over six hours starting on Tuesday, with some locations receiving up to 125mm (5 inches).
In numerous flood-affected areas, winds of up to 90 km/h (56 mph) are also anticipated, increasing the possibility of fallen trees and power lines.
Emergency teams fought through choppy seas on Tuesday to retrieve a bulk carrier ship that lost power off Sydney’s coast after tow lines snapped in bad weather, according to officials.
According to the meteorological office, Windsor in Sydney’s west is currently experiencing its third and most catastrophic flood of the year.
Social media videos showed waterlogged highways and bridges as rescue workers pulled trapped motorists from half submerged cars that were stuck in the rising waves.
Windsor homeowner Nigel Myron said he has kept an inflatable boat at the ready in case he needs to flee, even though he plans to return to his home once the floods subside.
“What is left to be done, in the end? After the floodwaters have passed, we pick ourselves up from the ashes and begin to rebuild “Myron told the press.