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Coastal low prompts thousands of rescues in NSW, power disrupted to 15 000 properties, Australia

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A coastal low brought strong winds, heavy rainfall, flooding, and damaging surf to parts of New South Wales over the weekend. The severe weather prompted volunteers to respond to more than 2 200 calls for rescue and left about 15 000 properties without power on Monday, July 27, 2020.

Volunteers from the NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES) have attended to thousands of emergency calls since midnight Saturday, July 25, including rescuing stranded motorists and animals from floodwaters.

"From Newcastle to Sydney, the Illawarra, and down to the Southern Highlands, our volunteers have been on the ground helping local communities," said NWS SES commissioner Carlene York.

"While we have attended the usual requests for assistance such as removing fallen trees and helping with damaged roofs, we have also been rescuing stranded animals."

"Our Wingecarribee Unit helped save four donkeys at a farm in Burradoo, south of Bowral, while our Kiama Unit helped save three cows and their calves at a farm in Falls Creek. Unfortunately, we also received several calls from motorists that had driven across flooded roads and become stranded."

York urged drivers to avoid going through the floodwaters and residents to stay away from fallen power lines.

Strong winds downed numerous trees and electricity poles that resulted in power outages for around 15 000 properties on Monday. 

In an update on Tuesday, July 28, Endeavour Energy reported that power has been restored to 95 percent of the customers. "Work is continuing to restore the remaining 980 Shoalhaven customers without power," it added.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has issued minor or final flood warnings for Wollombi Brook, rivers Deua, Bega, Peel, Belubula, St. Georges, and Snowy. As of 15:00 UTC, flood warnings are current for the NSW South Coast, but renewed flooding is no longer expected.

"A deep low-pressure system lies off the coast and is bringing strong winds and large waves to southern and central parts of the coast. These wet and windy conditions are expected to ease through today as the low weakens and moves away to the southeast," BOM wrote.

Featured image credit: NSW SES

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