State Emergency Service (SES) staff members make preparations to dispatch as flood waters immerse residential areas in Sydney Windsor suburb following heavy rains.
Torrential rains continued in Australia’s east coast on Tuesday, escalating the flood emergency in Sydney as a hundred thousand more residents were ordered to evacuate after rivers quickly rose above danger levels.
Authorities in New South Wales have told approximately 50,000 residents, the majority of whom live in Sydney’s western suburbs, to evacuate or have been warned that they may receive evacuation orders, up from 30,000 on Monday.
“This event is far from over,” said New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet. “Please be cautious when driving on our roads, no matter where you are. There are still significant risks of flash flooding.”
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who came back to Australia on Tuesday after the week trip to Europe, said he and Perrottet would tour the affected areas on Wednesday.
The federal government announced the floods as a natural catastrophe, allowing flood-affected residents to receive emergency funding.
The latest wild storm cell, which dumped a year’s worth of rain in some areas in three days, is expected to ease in Sydney starting Tuesday as the coastal trough moves north, according to the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM).
However, the risk of flooding may persist throughout the week, as most river catchments were already near capacity before the latest deluge.
Since Saturday, some areas have obtained 800mm (31.5 inches) of rain, exceeding Australia’s annual rainfall of around 500mm (20 inches).
From Tuesday, about 90mm (3.5 inches) of rain could fall in six hours along the state’s mid-north coast, with levels of up to 125mm (5 inches) in some places, according to the BoM.
Winds of up to 90 km/h (56 miles per hour) are also expected in several flood-affected areas, increasing the danger of collapsing trees and power lines.
Despite the heavy seas, emergency workers proceeded with their rescue attempt on Tuesday to haul a bulk cargo ship that knocked out power off the coast of Sydney now since tow lines broke in the storm, according to officials.
As per the weather bureau, major flooding is happening in Windsor in Sydney’s west, the city’s third and also most drastic flood this year.
Social media video footage shows submerged roads and bridges, whilst also emergency crews rescued people stranded in submerged water vehicles that become stuck in rising waters.
Nigel Myron, a Windsor resident, said he has an inflatable boat ready in case he needs to evacuate, but he plans to return to his home once the waters recede.
“What can you do at the finish of the day? It is what it is, and then after the floods have passed, we pick ourselves up from the ground and rebuild “Myron stated on ABC television.
The floods, according to Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers, will have a “significant economic impact.”
Floodwaters have probably inundated several food-producing regions, reducing supplies and raising the prices, even further straining family budgets already strained by soaring vegetable and fruit prices, according to Chalmers.
“It’s pointless to skirt around the issue… our economy’s inflation problem will worsen before it improves. It has many references, however, this (flood) will be one of them” Chalmers spoke to Sky News.
The Reserve Bank of Australia noted that the floods “are also affecting some prices” as it raised its cash rate by a whopping 50 basis points on Tuesday, indicating that more tightening is on the way to tame surging inflation.
The Insurance Council of Australia, which also declared the floods a “significant event,” urged those affected to file claims although the full extent of the damage was unknown.