dpa/GNA – Residents flood-hit areas west of Sydney were ordered to evacuate on Saturday night as wild weather continued to hammer New South Wales.
Flooding warnings were in place for about 18 areas of Australia’s most populous state on Sunday as heavy rain continued to fall.
On Saturday night the NSW State Emergency Service (SES) ordered anyone in low lying areas of Agnes Banks, Pitt Town Bottoms, Pitt Town North, Cornwallis, Gronos Point and North Richmond, some 50 kilometres west of Sydney on the Hawkesbury river, to evacuate.
The NSW Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) warned of further heavy rainfall and damaging winds on Sunday morning, with a severe weather warning covering almost 900 kilometres of coast from Wollongong, south of Sydney, to Lismore near the border with Queensland.
A severe weather warning was also in place just west of Canberra.
“We are expecting to see river levels that had started to just recede slightly … peak again probably later today and potentially even again tomorrow as the rainfall comes back for a third hit,” SES Deputy Commissioner Daniel Austin told the Today Show on Channel 9.
Austin added that SES was planning their operations “well past Easter,” which falls in two weeks’ time. “Unfortunately, of course, just because the rain stops it doesn’t mean that the rivers go back [to normal levels] straight away.”
The heavy rain was expected to keep falling on NSW until Wednesday morning at the earliest.
“This will be a deep-seated, extreme weather event,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Saturday.