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NSW weather update: Nervous wait for residents as Sydney’s Nepean River breaks 34-year flood record


The flood disaster in Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley is not yet over, with the North Richmond Bridge completely submerged in floodwaters and the Windsor Bridge set to close due to the rising water levels.

The Hawkesbury River has been sitting at around 9.9 metres at North Richmond and 8.2 metres at Windsor.

Flooding along the Nepean River near Greendale in Sydney's far west.
Flooding along the Nepean River near Greendale in Sydney’s far west. (Nick Moir)
Windsor Bridge over the Hawkesbury River which currently its above seven metres and is rising.
Windsor Bridge over the Hawkesbury River will be shut. (9News)

More evacuation orders have been issued as rivers continue to rise in the Sydney region after a man’s body was found in floodwaters.

Evacuation orders have been issued for parts of Pitt Town Bottoms, Leets Vale, Sackville North and Ebenezer.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) said rain in the south-east of the state has eased but major flooding at Menangle, Wallacia, North Richmond and Camden will continue today.

“A severe weather warning has been cancelled and rain is expected to ease further over the next few days,” the BoM said in a statement.

Thousands of people have been warned to evacuate or prepare to leave their homes, with warnings stretching to parts of Camden, Chipping Norton, Richmond and Pitt Town.

Some residents are now able to return home to the Sutherland Shire suburbs of Woronora and Bonnet Bay, two towns of concern yesterday.

Flooding scenes from Camden as the water drops.
A flooded petrol station in Camden. (Nick Moir)

‘I have not seen that before’

Camden has been inundated with floodwaters for the third time this year.

Camden resident Larry Burke experienced the 1988 floods and said he has never seen three rounds of flooding in the town in such a short period of time.

“This is the first time I have seen it come up three times so close together,” he said.

“I have not seen that before,” he said.

RFS pump and sweep out flood water from the Camden RSL as flooding drops.
RFS pump and sweep out flood water from the Camden RSL as flooding drops. (Nick Moir)

As the floodwaters begin to recede in Camden, the extent of the damage is becoming clear and clean-up efforts will soon begin.

Children in the area are feeling the stress of the weather event and now the recovery.

“I actually feel really, really bad because as I am watching TV and seeing them clean up, I feel like I need to help them,” one child said.

“But I can’t. It is too much work.”

April 8

Floodwaters continue rising in Sydney’s north-west

Hundreds of calls for assistance

A complement of 1200 SES volunteers were out during the wild weather yesterday, with more than 1200 calls for assistance and 35 flood rescues needed.

SES Assistant Commissioner Nicole Hogan has warned there could be more rain in forthcoming weeks, even as falls ease on Friday.

Heavy flooding on Davy Robinson Drive in Chipping Norton south west Sydney.
Heavy flooding on Davy Robinson Drive in Chipping Norton. (Brook Mitchell)

“We’re still monitoring areas along the Hawkesbury River system, really downstream, particularly around the Windsor area and low-lying areas in that particular part of the river system,” she told Today.

“Overnight, we have had around seven flood rescues over the last 12 hours, but in the 24 hours there’s been about 38 flood rescues, with over 1200 requests for assistance for NSW SES volunteers to attend to in the community.”

Two people on horseback at Camden. (9News)

‘April will continue to be wet’: SES warning

Assistant Commissioner Hogan said while rain would continue to ease through the weekend, river levels were set to keep rising – and that residents could face more weather events in coming weeks.

“We do know that April will continue to be wet, so we are expecting to still continue to see quite a bit of rainfall for the remainder of this particular month,” she said.

“I know that our communities are flood-fatigued. We’ve had months now of one rain event after another,” Emergency Services Minister Steph Cooke said.

“It will stop raining, it will get better.”

Simone Baluch is rescued, along with her dog and adopted litter of kittens, from a property on Davy Robinson Drive in Chipping Norton south west Sydney.
Simone Baluch is rescued, along with her dog and adopted litter of kittens, in Sydney’s south-west. (Brook Mitchell)
The Nepean River in Sydney's west could reach levels similar to the 1988 flooding disaster.
The Nepean River in Sydney’s west could reach levels similar to the 1988 flooding disaster. (9News)

She also issued a warning as the rain system moved inland off the coast.

“While the rain today may be easing, the risks are not,” she said.

Meteorologist Miriam Bradbury said the worst rain had passed for the Central and South Coasts after heavy falls overnight.

Falls of between 50-100mm rained down between Port Macquarie and Nowra, with more than 100mm north of Sydney.

Almost 200mm fell around Belmont, in the Lake Macquarie region.

“We will continue to see showers across the coastal parts of NSW today, but the rainfall totals we’re looking at for the remainder of today will really ease off,” Ms Bradbury said.

Sydney NSW floods
Floods in Camden, south-west of Sydney. (9News)
Dapto NSW Illawarra storms rain bomb
Another rain bomb is smashing huge parts of NSW, including the Illawarra. (9News)

The rain system will instead move west to inland NSW, trending away from steady heavy falls to showers and isolated thunderstorms across central and eastern NSW.

Meanwhile, after multiple evacuation orders yesterday and warnings still in place throughout the Sydney region, Ms Bradbury said the rivers still bore watching.

“The Nepean and Menangle reached a peak under seven metres yesterday afternoon,” she said.

“It’s dropping. That’s comparable to the April 1988 flood level there.”

But she said the impact of the heavy rainfall could continue for days, especially combined with spillage from the Warragamba Dam.

“It’s quite likely we’ll see further river rises, particularly downstream today, and some changing flood conditions there,” Ms Bradbury said.

One rescue turned dangerous at Camden. (9News)
Streets turning into rivers at Corrimal in Wollongong.
Streets turning into rivers at Corrimal in Wollongong. (9News)



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