Article by: Hari Yellina
More severe weather is expected to impact parts of NSW as the state continues to recover from recurrent floods in the north. On Wednesday, up to 50mm of rain is forecast in the Hunter, central, and southern coastal districts, according to Bureau of Meteorology hydrologist Ailsa Schofield. On Thursday, rain is expected to increase, with isolated rainfall of up to 250mm likely in certain locations. On the Nepean, Hawkesbury, Colo, Georges, and Woronora Rivers, a flood watch has been issued for mild to major flooding. Flooding is also forecast along the Macdonald and Parramatta Rivers, as well as in parts of north and south Sydney.
Residents in Greater Sydney, the Illawarra, the South Coast, and sections of the Hunter, Central Tablelands, and Southern Tablelands have already been given a severe weather warning for heavy rain. On Wednesday, a powerful upper ridge and embedded low will intensify over central NSW, according to the BOM. In reaction to this upper weather system, a coastal trough is expected to develop and remain slow-moving, causing areas of heavy rainfall.” On Friday morning, the system is expected to weaken. “Any extra rainfall could swiftly develop to flash floods, and we could see riverine flooding throughout significant parts of the state,” said SES Assistant Commissioner Dean Storey.
Authorities are preparing and pre-deploying to high-risk areas, according to Storey, who also advised residents to make sure they know what to do if they’re told to evacuate. In the last six weeks, the SES has responded to over 31,400 calls for assistance and completed over 2200 flood rescues around the state. The rest of the week’s forecasted bad weather comes as residents in the state’s north continue to recover from two catastrophic floods in less than a month. On Tuesday, Premier Dominic Perrottet paid a visit to Wardell, which had been flooded, to unveil a $67 million support package for schools, TAFE, and child care. Additional counselling is included in the package for employees who have been affected by the floods.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he had written to Perrottet to emphasise that his government was willing to share the costs of flood relief efforts. When announcing additional funding on Monday, Perrottet stated that NSW would appreciate federal cooperation. “But in the end, we’re not going to wait; we’re going to get to work,” Perrottet remarked. Morrison also brushed off criticism from NSW upper house MP Catherine Cusack, who announced her resignation two weeks ago due to disparities in flood support among electorates. Cusack, like other Liberal Party critics, has been speaking out against Morrison in the media this week. His outrage was misdirected, according to the prime minister, who supported the prior financial announcement.
Morrison explained, “We listed the first three LGAs because they were the most obvious ones, and it was the advice of our agencies… and we extended to the others.” Submissions for the NSW floods inquiry, which is being overseen by NSW Independent Planning Commission chair Mary O’Kane and former NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller, opened on Monday. Submissions can be made by mail, online, or in person at Service NSW centres and treatment centres, as well as at local hearing sessions.