More evacuations expected as saturated areas of Western Sydney receive more rain

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The State Emergency Service has issued evacuation orders for Sydney’s west and northwestern suburbs as a once-in-50-year rain event threatens homes.

Last night, the western part of Jamisontown, the northern end of Mulgoa and western parts of Penrith were put on evacuation notice as floodwaters pushed the ­Nepean River to its highest level since 1961.

Parts of Penrith are completely underwater after the water levels of the Hawkesbury-Nepean River swelled. Photo: ABC News: Brendan Esposito.

The Hawkesbury River at Richmond could today reach higher than 16m with flooding expected at Penrith, Windsor, Sackville, Lower Portland and Wisemans Ferry.

NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, said between 3000 and 4000 people may be asked to evacuate “over the next few days” if conditions in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley worsen.

“Please take it seriously. If you were put on high alert the last time there was a flooding incident and your house was OK, don’t assume it’ll be OK this time,” the Premier said.

People out looking at the rising flood water of the Hawkesbury River as it flows over the New Windsor Bridge. Photo: Damian Shaw.

The deluge will continue to pound the city and the rest of the state for at least another couple of days.

Bureau of Meteorology flood operations manager Justin Robinson said: “It is bigger than the February 2020 flood. It is bigger than the 1988 flood. It is bigger than the 1990 flood and is ­bigger than the 1964 flood … It’s one of the biggest floods we are likely to see for a very long time.”

Financial help for those worst affected:

Emergency Services Minister, David Elliott, has announced 34 natural disaster declarations to help those worst affected.

The measures mean there will be a change in interest rate loans for small businesses, producers and non-profit organisations, freight subsidies, grants and extra funding local councils.

Minister Elliott said the announcement is a start to the state’s recovery.

“NSW is experiencing the most significant storm and flood event that we have seen in decades, with widespread destruction affecting countless communities,” Mr Elliott said.

“We have worked quickly to declare disasters in 34 Local Government Areas. This assistance activates practical and immediate supports for communities, primary producers, small businesses, not-for-profits and councils.”

Disaster declaration zones include: Armidale, Bellingen, Blue Mountains, Camden, Campbelltown, Canterbury Bankstown, Central Coast, Cessnock City, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour City, Cumberland, Dungog, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, Hornsby, Inner West, Kempsey, Ku-ring-gai, Lake Macquarie, Liverpool, Maitland City, Mid-Coast, Nambucca Valley, Newcastle City, Northern Beaches, Parramatta, Penrith, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Port Stephens, Sutherland, Tenterfield, Blacktown, The Hills and Wollondilly.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

*UPDATE:

The SES has cancelled evacuation orders for: 

  1. Anyone in areas bounded by the Nepean River, south of the Great Western Highway and west of Peach-Tree Creek.
  2. Properties bounded by Jamison Road, Surveyors Creek, Blaikie Road, the rear of the Penrith Homemaker Centre, the Western Motorway and the Nepean River.
  3. Anyone at the northern end of Mulgoa Creek on Martin Street. 

Orders still apply for those in North Richmond, Agnes Banks, Freemans Reach, Cornwallis, Pitt Town North, Gronos Point, Pitt Town Bottoms. 

On the Mid-North Coast, evacuation orders remain in place for: Kempsey CBD, central Wingham, Taree Estate, Dumaresq Island, Cundletown, Laurieton, North Haven, Dunbogan, Bulahdelah, Kings Point, Macksville CBD, low-lying areas of Wauchope and Rawdon Island, low-lying properties on the Lower Macleay, low-laying properties in Port Macquarie. 

There is a severe weather warning for heavy rain and damaging winds in the Northern Rivers, the Mid North Coast, the Hunter, Sydney, the Illawarra, South Coast, Central Tablelands, Southern Tablelands, North West Slopes and Plains, Central West Slopes and Plains, Upper Western, Snowy Mountains, Australian Capital Territory, Northern Tablelands and parts of the South West Slopes. 

Today, major flooding is expected along the Hawkesbury River at Windsor and Sackville, the Macleay River at Kempsey and Smithtown, the Wollombi Brook at Bulga and the Colo River at Upper Colo and Putty Road.
 

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