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Heavy rains, floods and a mini tornado batter New South Wales, Australia

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Heavy rainfall affected the state of New South Wales in southeastern Australia over the last couple of days, causing strong floods and infrastructural damage. About 300 people were evacuated from the south coast area, as of August 26, 2015, media reported.

A low pressure system, the so-called East Coast Low, that has developed off the southeastern coast of Australia, has brought heavy rains, hail and strong winds to the South Coast region of New South Wales, Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) reported on August 25.

Weather conditions over Australia, August 26, 02:00 UTC. Image credit: NMOC, BOM

219 mm (8.62 inches) of rainfall in a 24 hour period until August 24, 23:00 UTC, was reported at Foxground, 212 mm (8.34 inches) at Tomerong, 192 mm (7.55 inches) at Bellambi, 170 mm (6.69 inches) at Kiama and 159 mm (6.25 inches) at Wollongon, according to BOM. Approximately 208 mm (8.18 inches) of rainfall was observed in Nowra.

24 hour rainfall accumulation until August 25, 23:00 UTC. Image credit: BOM

Up to 160 mm (6.29 inches) of rain was estimated to fall in the Wollondilly River, upstream of the Warragamba Dam, in the 48 hours until August 25, 23:00 UTC, while 170 mm (6.69 inches) was recorded in the Nepean Valley.

On August 24, a mini tornado swept through Dubbo and damaged several homes.

Video credit: Guardian Australia

Flood warning for the Hawkesbury and Nepean, Shoalhaven, Lachlan Rivers and St Georges Basin remain active as of August 26: “At this stage, with Warragamba Dam, in Sydney, expected to spill overnight, minor flooding is likely along the Hawkesbury and Nepean Rivers, similar to flooding seen in March 2012,” Bureau of Meteorology Acting New South Wales Regional Director, Mr Stephen Lellyett stated.

300 people have been evacuated from St. Georges Basin and Sussex Inlet, and several houses were damages, as of August 26, media reported.

The State Emergency Service advises that people should keep clear of fallen power lines, creeks and storm drains, beware of fallen trees or debris on the road and don't drive, ride or walk through flood water.

Featured image: A mini tornado in Dubbo, New South Wales, Australia, August 24, 2015. Image credit: @reedtimmerTVN

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