June 5, 2016 6:13pm DAVID MEDDOWS, TYRON BUTSON and NEIL KEENE
from : The Daily Telegraph Online
Some of the worst storms since the 1970s have battered parts of Sydney, as a monster storm front continues to wreak havoc up and down the coast with roads cut, homes flooded and emergency services forced to rescue people from floodwaters.
Dozens of towns and suburbs are on flood watch las one of the widest-reaching storm cells in decades battered the entire NSW coast.
Parts of Sydney bore the brunt of the weekend tempest, copping up to 200mm of rain in just 24 hours.
The downpour brought trees crashing onto homes, flooded hundreds of streets and left the state’s roads and public transport system in chaos. The NSW State Emergency Service has received more than 7300 calls for help since Friday and had successfully completed more than 130 flood rescues by this afternoon.
But crews’ efforts to assist storm- and flood-damaged properties were hampered by winds whipping coastal areas at up to 90km/h.
Wolli Creek on the north coast recorded an incredible 468mm of rain in the 24 hours to 9am Sunday – the most rain that has fallen anywhere in NSW in a single June day since 1950.
Ingleburn, in south-west Sydney, recorded 200mm of rain in the same period. Such intense downpours triggered flash flooding from one end of NSW to the other.
Wollongong, Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Coffs Harbour and Lismore on the north coast were among the worst-affected areas.
The State Emergency Services has received more than 5500 calls for help over the past 48 hours and performed nearly 80 flood rescues — many from motorists risking their own lives and those of volunteers trying to drive through floodwaters.
Evacuations are underway in Sydney’s Northern Beaches and on the Far North Coast, with dozens of rivers set to break their banks later this afternoon.
The University of NSW’s Dr Mitchell Harley and his team from the Water Research Laboratory have recorded huge swells at Narrabeen and throughout the Northern Beaches.
“We’ve not seen something like this since the 1970s, the way it’s coming in from a north easterly direction it’s hitting parts of the beach that don’t normally experience this kind of thing,” he said.
“In terms of coastal erosion, it’s particularly bad for Narrabeen.”
His team managed to capture spectacular timelapse footage of huge waves hammering Narrabeen beach, reaching almost all the way to nearby homes.
Emergency services are calling on some residents of Chipping Norton in Sydney’s southwest to evacuate their homes immediately.
Those in Rickard Road, Arthur Street, Riverside Drive (between Arthur and Newbridge Road), Newbridge Road (between Rickard Road and Governor Macquarie Dr) and Davey Robinson Drive should leave now.
An evacuation centre has been established at Liverpool City Library and should be used by people who cannot make alternative accommodation arrangements.
SES crews are currently doorknocking areas around Narrabeen Lagoon and Narrabeen Lake on Sydney’s Northern Beaches warning residents their homes may be inundated as the rain continues to fall.
Authorities are encouraging residents to grab their important documents, put valuable items up high and monitor water levels.
“We are asking local residents to monitor the situation closely, pay attention to the condition of home and be prepared to take action if required,” an SES warning issued at 8.30am this morning.
“There is no current evacuation warning or order from residents in this area. NSW SES will advise residents to evacuate should an evacuation be necessary via emergency alert and door knocking.
“Be sure to check your home emergency kit is ready should it be needed.”
Police and RFS crews are currently evacuating North Narrabeen Caravan Park.
Students at the Narrabeen Sports Academy have been evacuated to the surf club where parents have been advised to meet.
Thousands of home have been left without power across the city with Ausgrid working to restore electricity to more than 10,000 properties in Sydney and the Central Coast.
Overnight, a driver with three other passengers in his car became trapped when he turned onto Ashcroft Avenue in Milperra, which is well known for flooding.
A taxi driver became stranded on Railway Parade at Petersham when he drove through the flood waters, while two cars had water up to the axle when they turned onto the M4 Western Motorway entrance near Concord Road. One driver had to climb out of his car through the window.
The M4 has now been closed due to the flooding. Drivers are advised to use Parramatta Road and allow extra time for travel.
It come as the Bureau of Meteorology yesterday declared a severe weather warning along the entire NSW coast, believed to be the first time in 30 years.
Sydney can expect winds in excess of 90km/hh and further flooding today.
Extreme flooding is now impacting the Main Street of Picton. Evacuations are under way.
Residents on the southern side of the city have seen their cars and homes go under water as rain continues to fall in Wollongong.
Kembla Street appears to be hardest hit down towards JJ Kelly Park with water lapping at the front doors of houses and cars partially submerged.
One man was seen paddling through the streets in a kayak.
The strong winds have also been lashing Wollongong and Shellharbour.
A home in Shellharbour appears to have had the side wall blown away, with SES crews working to repair.
Many homes and businesses on the South Coast, Illawarra and Southern Highlands have also been left without power, with Endeavour Energy working to restore electricity to around 18,000 properties.
The region could cop a further 200mm of rain today.
Dozens of roads have been cut off across the region with a full list available here.
North Lismore residents have been ordered to evacuate as the Wilsons River threatens nearby homes.
An evacuation centre has been set up at Southern Cross University Bar, Military Road, Lismore.
Residents in areas around Tweed and Tumbulgum are on alert for potential evacuations due to local river flood warnings.
Dozens of volunteers and emergency service personnel have been sandbagging at Avoca Beach in an effort to stop the massive surf damaging the Avoca Beach Surf Club and cafe.
The areas that have received the most rain so far are Woy Woy (149mm), Koolewong (143mm), East Gosford (139mm) and Mt Elliott (137mm).
Wyong SES media officer Allan Benson said they had completed half of the 70 jobs they had received so far.
“I’m confident we’ll get through the rest today,” he said.
“We have three crews in the field and they will be assisted by two RFS crews.
“I’m expecting more of the same today and the jobs are still coming in.
“The worst hit areas for us have been The Entrance, Shelly Beach and Bateau Bay.”
NORTH LISMORE: Resident have been told to leave the area for their safety. Evacuation centre open at Southern Cross University.
SOUTH LISMORE: Residents being warned to prepare to evacuate with the Bureau of Meteorology predicting flooding later this afternoon.
GEORGES RIVER: With more than 200mm of rain falling in the 24 hours to 7am, minor to moderate flooding is expected with minor flooding also predicted for the WORONORA RIVER as a result.
NORTH NARRABEEN: SES crews doorknocking warning residents to prepare to evacuate. North Narrabeen Caravan Park currently being evacuated by police and RFS crews.
ROAD NETWORK IN CHAOS
The following roads have been affected by flooding:
The M4 is closed westbound at Parramatta Road in North Strathfield due to flooding, Motorists are advised to continue along Parramatta Road.
Anzac Parade is closed northbound at Meeks Street in Kingsford due to flooding. Traffic is diverting via meeks Street, buses are also missing three stops in this location.
The Wakehurst Parkway is closed between Oxford Falls and Sydney Academy of Sport and Recreation in Oxford Falls due to flooding.