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Severe floods force more than 50 000 to evacuate, inundate several food-producing regions, Australia

new south wales flood july 2022

Heavy rains continued falling over Australia’s east coast on July 5, 2022, forcing more than 50 000 people to evacuate their homes, up from 30 000 on July 4. While some parts of the region saw a year’s worth of rain within just 3 days, this heavy rainfall event is still not over.

Several major flood warnings remain in effect today for parts of New South Wales including the Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment. Major flooding is expected today and tomorrow, July 6 at Wollombi Brook, Macquarie River and Tuggerah Lake, forecasters at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said.1

Minor to moderate flooding is also occurring along the Paterson, Cooks, Georges, Woronora, Macquarie and Shoalhaven rivers and the St Georges Basin.

Moderate to heavy rainfall continued overnight in Sydney, Central Coast and the Hunter and is easing today, with the coastal trough moving north bringing rain to the Mid North Coast on Wednesday.

The risk of flash-flooding and landslips, in addition to the ongoing risk of riverine flooding, continues for many parts of New South Wales.

Some regions have already received 800 mm (31.5 inches) of rain since Saturday, July 2, which is more than Australia’s annual average rainfall of around 500 mm (20 inches).

“This event is far from over,” New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet told reporters today. “Wherever you are, please be careful when you’re driving on our roads. There are still substantial risks for flash flooding.”

Emergency crews are still being called to rescue residents as power blackouts hit thousands of homes.

The federal government has declared the floods a natural disaster, helping flood-hit residents receive emergency funding support.2

Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers warned the economic impact from the floods “will be substantial”.

Floods have likely inundated several food-producing regions and that would hit supplies and lift prices, further straining family budgets already reeling under soaring prices of vegetables and fruits, Chalmers said.

“There’s no use tiptoeing around that … that inflation problem that we have in our economy will get worse before it gets better. It’s got a lot of sources, but this (flood) will be one of them,” Chalmers told Sky News.

References:

1 Major flooding occurring in NSW and likely to continue into Wednesday – BOM – July 5, 2022

2 Australia floods worsen as thousands more flee Sydney homes – Reuters – July 5, 2022

Featured image credit: 7news (stillshot)

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