Severe thunderstorms bring extreme rainfall rates to parts of NSW, Australia
Severe thunderstorms hit New South Wales, Australia on February 9, 2023, bringing heavy rainfall and damaging winds. The storm caused officials to issue flash flooding warnings and prompted the NSW State Emergency Service to respond to over 600 calls for help.
According to figures provided by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Bellambi, a suburb of Wollongong in the Illawarra region recorded 96 mm (96 mm) of rainfall in 1 hour, Audley Royal National Park, about 35 km (22 miles) from Sydney recorded 74 mm (2.91 inches) in 1 hour, Shellharbour Airport in the Illawarra region recorded 73 mm (2.87 inches) in 1 hour while Cringila recorded 90 mm (3.54 inches) in two hours.
The severe weather resulted in widespread traffic disruptions and road closures across the Illawarra region, including the southbound lanes of the Princes Highway at Waterfall and the southbound off-ramp and on-ramp to the M1 Princes Mwy at Berkeley.
The NSW State Emergency Service has responded to over 600 calls for help, including providing sandbagging assistance to a childcare center. The Illawarra region has been one of the worst affected areas, with over 350 incidents and 21 rescue missions recorded since midnight.
Despite the ongoing hazards, the weather has forced a number of schools to close and resulted in the cancellation of school bus trips.
NSW SES Southern Zone Deputy Commander Sharon Fox has issued a caution to parents picking up their children from school, stating that the conditions are still “very hazardous” across the Illawarra and south coast.
Featured image credit: NSW RFS
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