News State New South Wales Welcome rain causes chaos on NSW roads
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Welcome rain causes chaos on NSW roads

Pedestrians scurry for shelter in Sydney's CBD as the skies opened and plunged traffic into a state of stalled and soggy chaos. AAP/Dan Himbrechts
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A much-needed drenching has been welcomed by farmers across NSW, but the rain has caused chaos on Sydney streets with motorists refusing to slow down.

The first decent rains in months saw some parts of western NSW exceed their October monthly rainfall average on Friday, Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster Jake Phillips told AAP.

But there has been chaos on the state’s roads, with NSW Ambulance paramedics called out to more than 120 accidents before the end-of-day peak.

“We understand everyone wants to get home on a Friday, but it’s always better to get home a bit later rather than not get home at all,” Inspector Kelvin Milne said in a statement.

“We haven’t had wet weather around many parts of NSW for a while and motorists just don’t seem to adjust their driving habits to allow for the wet conditions.”

Ben Bullen in the state’s central west received nearly 60 millimetres of rain from Friday morning – nearly 8mm more than its October average of 52.4mm.
Parts of Sydney received close to 20mm and in Lake Macquarie near Newcastle some 25mm fell between 9am and Friday evening.

While the numbers aren’t huge, the rain is enough to make a difference to farmers, Mr Phillips said.

“It’s a big (amount) compared to what we’ve seen recently because we’ve been going through an extended dry season,” the forecaster said.

“It’s pretty significant in the western part of the state because farmlands out there haven’t had rain for a long time.”

A very dry NSW will see a short-term benefit with fire dangers lowering – but for a few days only.

“Because we’ve had a long-term deficiency of rain, all it will take is a short period of dry weather and the fire danger will go straight back up,” Mr Phillips said.

The rain is expected to ease on Saturday with a shower or two forecast in the northeast of the state.