Sydney, Australia is in the grip of a new flooding emergency with widespread damage reported across the city. The flood crisis in New South Wales has now claimed 8 lives while the total number of casualties in eastern Australia rose to 20.
In Manly Vale, cars floated past classroom windows.
Across already rain-soaked suburbs, dozens of people have needed rescuing. Two family members have been swept away in Wentworthville.1
“Following very intense rainfall overnight, heavy rainfall and gusty winds are expected to continue across New South Wales, including the central and southern coasts, the ranges and hinterland,” the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said.2
The east coast low near the Hunter Coast is likely to track south today and bring potential flooding impacts.
Tonight and early Wednesday, March 9, very windy conditions are expected near the coast including Sydney and the Illawarra. Damaging southerly swell and coastal erosion are also expected on Tuesday or early Wednesday for the southern half of New South Wales.
Due to recent rainfall, the soil is saturated and rivers are swollen so severe thunderstorms and persistent showers are more likely to lead to landslides, flash, and riverine flooding. Gusty winds are also more likely to lead to trees and powerlines falling, due to soft soils.
The Bureau of Meteorology has numerous flood warnings current across eastern New South Wales with severe weather warnings and hazardous surf warnings also current.
Thunderstorms are expected over the northeast until the middle of the week, with severe thunderstorms possible on Wednesday, while rain is expected to ease later on Tuesday and Wednesday along the remainder of the coast as the east coast low moves offshore. Flooding will continue as the water slowly recedes.
Communities should be prepared for flood impacts and are encouraged to keep up to date with the latest forecasts and warnings on the Bureau’s website and BOM Weather app and always follow the advice of emergency services.
Image credit: JMA/Himawari-8, RAMMB/CIRA, TW. Acquired at 05:20 UTC on March 8, 2022
BOM also advised residents of southeast and parts of central Queensland advised that severe thunderstorms with damaging winds, large hail, and heavy rainfall will become likely in the region on Wednesday.3
According to Meteorologist Jackson Browne, isolated, very dangerous thunderstorms with locally destructive winds, giant hail, and intense rainfall are also possible during Wednesday afternoon and evening.
“Catchments across south-east Queensland are now saturated and creek and streams will respond quickly to heavy, short-duration rainfall associated with any thunderstorm activity,” said Browne said.
A fresh and gusty south-easterly change is forecast to spread through south-east Queensland on Wednesday night and this will bring the potential for severe thunderstorms to move into central Queensland on Thursday.
Major flood warnings continue across inland areas in the south of the state including the Barwon, lower Moonie, Condamine, and Balonne Rivers.
1 Sydney floods take deadly turn as thousands forced to evacuate carnage – 7News
2 Severe Weather in New South Wales bringing potential flooding impacts – BOM
3 Severe thunderstorms likely with damaging winds, large hail and heavy rainfall for Queensland – BOM
Featured image credit: NWS SES
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