Australia’s east coast is again in the grip of severe flooding after heavy rains. The situation is particularly bad in the Greater Sydney region, where about 320,000 people were ordered to evacuate on Monday morning (local time) in places around the Nepean and Hawkesbury Rivers. Local emergency services said hundreds of residents requested help during the night. Citizens in several other areas have been urged to prepare to leave their homes.
“I know it’s the school holidays, but please reconsider your travel plans,” emergency services spokeswoman Ashley Sullivan told the ABC. “If you don’t have to leave your home, stay there if it’s safe to do so.” Disaster Relief Secretary Murray Watt told the ABC broadcaster the latest information showed flooding would exceed that of three similar storms in the past 18 months. The risk of spring flooding is still high along the rivers.
Roads flooded, trees uprooted – more rain forecast
The Army sent troops to support emergency services on site. Many were trapped in their cars trying to cross flooded roads. The Warragamba Dam, which supplies drinking water to large parts of Sydney, has been leaking large amounts of water since Sunday. Strong winds uprooted trees and damaged roofs.
Heavy rain has continued for several days around Sydney. The media quoted meteorological services as saying that the entire month of July received four times more rainfall than normal. According to meteorologists, initially there was no improvement in sight.