Hundreds of thousands evacuated in Sydney as flood warnings continue

Half a million people in New South Wales are now the subject of evacuation orders or warnings across the state, with Premier Dominic Perrottet warning the flood disaster is likely to get worse before that state sees light at the end of the tunnel.

Mr Perrottet said many people were waking up today to see “much of the state underwater”.

“It has been an incredibly difficult evening,” he said this morning.

“I want to acknowledge the trauma and suffering that many people have gone through, throughout the evening, having to leave their homes in the middle of the night.

Sydney floods NSW Windsor
A car drives through flooded road at Windsor on the outskirts of Sydney. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

“But my message to you is that we will get through this.”

Schools across the state are closed, you can see the full list here

One third of the capacity of Warragamba Dam is spilling into the Nepean River as rain continues to soak Sydney.

Windsor Bridge, which was constructed in 2020 is again underwater for the second time in 12 months, cutting residents off.

The premier also warned the floods in the Hawkesbury River region are forecast to be worse than last year.

Sydney floods NSW Windsor
Windsor Bridge, which was constructed in 2020 is again underwater for the second time in 12 months, cutting residents off. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
Sydney floods NSW Windsor
Debris has gathered on the bridge which has cut the suburb off. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

earlier NSW Emergency Services Minister Steph Cooke said she was concerned about the communities right across south-west Sydney, the Central Coast, Hunter and Sydney in general.

“We know that you are weary, but we need you to stay with us. We need you to keep listening out to the warnings, to the information that our emergency services organisations, particularly our combat agency, the SES, are putting out this morning .

“If you are asked to leave your home, please do so, please do not put yourself or your family at risk and please don’t put the lives of our emergency services volunteers at risk,” she said.

Warragamba Dam Sydney NSW floods
One third of the capacity of Warragamba Dam is spilling into the Nepean River. (9News)
Warragamba Dam Sydney NSW floods
The water spilling from the dam is more intense than in the March 2021 floods. (9News)
Heavy rain and floodwater is causing the Hawkesbury River at North Richmond Bridge to breach its banks and cut many roads.
Heavy rain and floodwater is causing the Hawkesbury River at North Richmond Bridge to breach its banks and cut many roads. (Wolter Peeters, The Sydney Morning Herald.)

NSW is expecting between 50-250 millimeters of rainfall today which could lead to “dangerous and life-threatening” flooding.

The Nepean River experienced major flooding last night, with significant flooding occurring at North Richmond in the Hawkesbury River.

An additional 400 emergency volunteers and ADF personnel will be deployed to assist with clean-up and recovery operations across flooded cities.

Helicopters have been dropping food and supplies to evacuation centers.

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Heavy rain and floodwater is causing the Hawkesbury River at North Richmond to breach its banks.
Heavy rain and floodwater is causing the Hawkesbury River at North Richmond to breach its banks. (SMH)

Mr Perrottet said earlier while some areas had been cut off due to road closures, the advice he received was that evacuation centers had received supplies by the end of the day yesterday.

Recovery is expected to take several months.

“What is important to me is getting every community through it,” Mr Perrottet said.

“It’s going to be a substantial operation.”

Flooding in the Hawkesbury region is anticipated to be worse than last year’s disaster.

Torrential rain and flash flooding are also expected in Newcastle and Hunter today.

Heavy rain and floodwater is causing the Hawkesbury River at Windsor Bridge to breach its banks.
Heavy rain and floodwater is causing the Hawkesbury River at Windsor Bridge to breach its banks. (SMH)

“We do believe that things will get worse before they get better here in our state,” Mr Perrottet said.

Already this morning the NSW SES issued warnings for eight more suburbs: Shanes Park, Mulgrave, Holsworthy, Londonderry, Vineyard, Picnic Point, East Hills and South Maroota. Currently major flooding is occurring at North Richmond.

Last night, the SES told people in parts of Windsor and surrounding villages including Pitt Town and Richmond lowlands to leave by 11pm, warning after that would be too late as the Hawkesbury-Nepean river system was hit by the deluge.
Taylor and Sarah Moore-McClelland lost everything in their home in Lismore.

Flood clean-ups underway after devastating deluge

The Hawkesbury River started flooding North Richmond in the early hours, with parts of Penrith also starting to flood with predictions of worsening conditions including for the town of Windsor.

The Nepean river at Windsor is currently at 9.99m, but it’s expected to peak at 14m — it will hit 10.4m at Penrith later today.

South west of the city people in parts of Georges Hall, Chipping Norton, Lansvale, Milperra, Moorebank, Warwick Farm, as well as parts of Camden were ordered to leave by 3am.

Officials warned the areas were facing flooding similar to March 2021, when hundreds of homes were wrecked by floods.

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