NSW flood danger spreads north as politicians head to inundation zone

The prime minister and NSW premier are expected to visit flood-ravaged parts of the state on Wednesday as the danger spreads further north.

There are more than 150 evacuation orders and warnings in place across Sydney, affecting about 60,000 people.

While areas along the Hawkesbury-Nepean river system have been the hardest hit so far, with many inundated for the fourth time in less than two years, forecasters warned the Mid North Coast and parts of the Northern Tablelands to be on higher alert on Wednesday.

An emergency vehicle blocks access to the flooded Windsor Bridge at Windsor on the outskirts of Sydney. (AP Photo/Mark Baker) (AP)

A severe weather warning issued late on Tuesday put the NSW coast from just south of Forster to just north of Coffs Harbour, and west to Walcha, on notice.

There was already major flooding at Bulga and Wollombi, inland from Newcastle, on Tuesday night.

The Bureau of Meteorology warned the offshore coastal trough would actually deepen today, before pushing further offshore.

A woman stands in a flooded street at Windsor. (AP Photo/Mark Baker) (AP)

Affected areas were warned to be on the lookout for flash flooding sparked by six-hourly rain totals of up to 90 millimetres.

Isolated parts could cop up to 150 millimetres, mostly north of Kempsey where thunderstorms were affected.

“Rainfall will further contribute to flooding already being experienced and maintains the potential for landslides,” the bureau said.

An industrial building is inundated with water at Londonderry on the outskirts of Sydney. (AP Photo/Mark Baker) (AP)

That’s bad news for emergency services already run off their feet helping people across Sydney in what Weatherzone said was already the city’s wettest year-to-date on record.

State Emergency Service manager Ashley Sullivan said emergency response teams had made 100 rescues overnight of people trapped in cars on flooded roads or in inundated homes in the Sydney area.

NSW Police rescue man from ute stuck in floodwaters.
The ute was stuck in rising floodwaters in South Windsor. (9News)

“He said he only had six inches between the water rising and the roof and the pressure against the car door, he couldn’t get it open,” probationary Constable Lindsay Morgan said of the driver.

Flood waters had finally begun to slowly recede in the area on Tuesday.

But evacuation orders and warnings to prepare to abandon homes had been given to 50,000 people, up from 32,000 on Monday, Premier Dominic Perrottet said.

A man paddles his kayak through a flooded street at Windsor on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia, Tuesday, July 5, 2022. Hundreds of homes have been inundated in and around Australia’s largest city in a flood emergency that was impacting 50,000 people, officials said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Mark Baker) (AP)

“This event is far from over. Please don’t be complacent, wherever you are,” he said. 

“Please be careful when you’re driving on our roads. There is still substantial risk for flash flooding across our state.”

Foam at Cronulla Beach.

Bizarre sight on Sydney beach

He described the situation as “serious”, and said Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was providing “every possible support to the NSW government and NSW people”.

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