Strong winds of up to 90 km/h and further flash flooding have seen some New South Wales residents urged to evacuate their homes on Tuesday, as severe weather continues to hit the state.
The New South Wales State Emergency Service (SES) advised residents in Kiama to evacuate immediately on Tuesday as the walls of the Jerrara Dam, which was being decommissioned, threatened to overflow.
By Tuesday, the SES had received to about 600 calls for help, responding to 35 incidents of flash flooding.
SES incident controller Ashley Sullivan said emergency staff were speaking directly to residents of the 12 homes downstream of the dam.
“It’s not a massive area and that’s why those residents downstream will know who they are because they’ve been through this before, we’ve talked to them before,” he told the ABC.
“Those residents downstream will be well aware if they are in the impact zone. Jerrara Dam has been to numerous levels of alert on occasions in recent years.
“It’s a precaution at the moment but there is a real threat at this stage that we may have some issues further downstream, particularly if we get a large scour occur at once where a volume of water ends up flowing downstream.”
Sydney and the Illawarra areas were worst hit on Monday and respite is not expected any time soon for emergency authorities.
Damaging winds of about 65km/h – peaking at 90km/h – are expected for the coastal fringe of the Illawarra district on Tuesday, particularly in the afternoon and evening.
Illawarra South Coast SES regional controller Greg Murphy said residents in Bulli and Woonona had assessed the storm damage this morning.
“We’ve actually got 90 jobs at the moment [and] eight of those are flood rescues,” he told the ABC.
“We’ve had three flood rescues in pretty quick succession this morning.”
Some NSW towns recorded nearly 200mm of rain between Monday morning and 4am on Tuesday – the southern coastal towns of Tomerong and Bellambi recorded 175mm and 176mm respectively.
The Bureau of Meteorology issued severe weather and flood warnings across New South Wales on Tuesday, predicting a “greater than 70 per cent chance of flooding” in the Illawarra district, South Coast and St Georges Basin.
On Monday, flooding caused chaos across the Sydney CBD, while strong winds damaged several properties in Dubbo.
The NSW Emergency Service issued a plea to the public not to enter flood waters as the severe weather hit the state.
Hail stones “smashed windows” and damaged electrical lines in Sydney’s inner suburb of Balmain, plunging residents into darkness, according to 9news.com.au.
Images and videos posted to social media showed the extent of the chaos.
— Nick Moir (@nampix) August 24, 2015
— Illawarra Mercury (@illawarramerc) August 24, 2015
— ABC News (@abcnews) August 24, 2015
— Lara Vella (@vella_lara) August 24, 2015
— ABC Western Plains (@ABCDubbo) August 24, 2015
– with ABC