Residents of New South Wales have been asked to exercise “great caution” as severe weather batters Sydney and the surrounding suburbs.
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a warning for “dangerous and difficult” driving conditions on Thursday, with the torrential rains and strong gusts that wreaked havoc on Wednesday expected to continue.
It comes after flood warnings were issued for various suburbs in Sydney’s west, south-west, and north-west on Wednesday night, forcing thousands of residents to flee their homes.
River levels may also exceed those witnessed during the March 2021 flooding crisis, according to forecasters.
“Heavy rainfall which may lead to flash flooding is forecast to develop over parts of the Hunter and Metropolitan, Illawarra and parts of South Coast, Southern Tablelands and Central Tablelands Forecast Districts during Thursday morning before starting to ease from Thursday evening,” the BoM said on Thursday morning.
“Intense rainfall” is expected to cause “dangerous and life-threatening flash flooding,” with some regions receiving up to 200mm of rain in six hours and severe wind gusts of over 90km/h.
Major Flooding is occurring in southwest Sydney exceeding March 2021 levels with Major Flood warnings in place. It's raining, with some areas hit harder than others and more rain on its way. Keep a serious eye on the warnings and forecasts: https://t.co/2qM1QRn3xE @NSWSES pic.twitter.com/37j66m7iHA
— Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) March 2, 2022
“There is going to be more heavy rain today, there is going to be more potential for flash flooding and we are going to see more river rises,” he said on Thursday.
“The ground is completely saturated, pretty much every drop that falls from the sky is running off, and this is going to lead to more flash flooding and continue to raise the rivers,” NSW SES Deputy Commissioner Daniel Austin told Sunrise.