Australia – Thousands Ordered to Evacuate After More Floods in New South Wales

Evacuation orders have been issued to thousands of residents in Sydney and surrounding areas of New South Wales (NSW), Australia, after torrential rainfall threatens to cause severe flooding for a fourth time this year.

Flood rescue, NSW Australia. July 2022. Photo: Transport for NSW

NSW Sate Emergency Services (SES) reported that, as of 04 July 2022, 115 Evacuation Orders were in place in the Hunter Region (Evacuation Order for 1 location); Sydney Western Region (60); Sydney Northern Region (33); Sydney Southern Region (18); and Illawarra South Coast Region (3). Evacuation Centres have been set up to house those displaced in Canley Vale, Narellan, Gymea, Richmond, North Richmond, Castle Hill and West Gosford. New South Wales state Premier Dominic Perrottet said 32,000 people were impacted by evacuation orders and warnings.

SES urged people to stay home and avoid flooded areas. From 01 to 03 July, SES teams carried out 137 rescues and responded to over 3,100 requests for assistance.

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) reported extremely heavy rainfall from 02 July. In a 48 hour period to 04 July as much as 552.5 mm of rain fell at Brogers Creek in the Illawarra region. Elsewhere Wattamolla recorded 318 mm of rain in 24 hours to 03 July and Beaumont saw 184.8 mm in 24 hours to 04 July.

Levels of the Nepean and Hawkesbury rivers are extremely high, and above major flood stage near Menangle, Windsor and North Richmond.

Nepean Rive at Menangle Bridge, NSW, Australia, July 2022. Image: BoM
Hawkesbury River at Windsor, NSW Australia, July 2022. Image: BoM
Hawkesbury River at North Richmond, NSW, Australia, July 2022. Image: BoM

This is the fourth flood event in New South Wales so far this year. Parts of the state experienced severe flooding in early March, late March and again in April.

In a statement via Social Media, Premier Dom Perrottet said, “It’s hard to put into words what some communities across NSW are going through, again. We’re seeing distressing scenes from the flood zones across our state. Times like these are difficult. It will test our resilience. But it is also in these times that we see the best in people and the best in our communities. We have mobilised significant resources and all relevant agencies to get help to those in need. And we will pull together, as we always do, to get through this. Thank you to all the volunteers, everyone deployed & communities themselves for their hard work to help those in need.”

Flooded bridge in Hawkesbury, NSW, Australia, July 2022. Photo: Hawkesbury City Council