Weather NSW residents urged to evacuate as heavy downpours cause flash flooding

NSW residents urged to evacuate as heavy downpours cause flash flooding

Flood warnings have been issued for towns along the Shoalhaven River in Nowra on Monday. Photo: Getty
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Residents in parts of NSW have been urged to seek higher ground as flash flooding hits the state’s south coast.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe weather warning for parts of NSW on Monday morning, with damaging winds and large surf forecast.

It comes after the State Emergency Service conducted more than 18 flood rescues and responded to more than 700 calls for help at the mainly from Berry, Nowra, Broughton Vale and Gerringong.

More than 20 houses at Broughton Vale near Berry were also cut off by floodwater.

The SES also had 400 calls for help in Sydney and the Blue Mountains on Sunday night. On Monday, residents woke to fallen trees, damaged roofs and flooded roads.

Manly fast ferries were cancelled on Monday morning due to large swells in Sydney harbour.

Further south, there are evacuation orders for several towns, including Moruya, Nowra and inland at Captains Flat, which had up to 200 millimetres of rain over the 24 hours to Sunday night.

Early on Monday, the bureau issued major flood warnings for Terara and Shoalhaven River at Nowra.

By Monday morning, flooding at the Moruya River was minor but flooding from the Shoalhaven River at Nowra and Terara is forecast, with the river expected to peak at 4.4 metres about 1pm.

The SES ordered residents in Moruya’s CBD, Sussex Inlet and Nowra suburbs, including Terara, East Nowra, Worrigee and North Nowra, to evacuate to higher ground.

“If you remain in the area after 5pm you will be trapped and it may be too dangerous … to rescue you,” the SES said on Sunday.

The SES said it would release an “all-clear” message once the threat subsided.

An evacuation centre has been set up at the Village Centre at Batemans Bay.

Floodwaters on the South Coast. Photo: Facebook/NSW SES South Eastern Zone

The SES also directed people in low lying areas of Sussex Inlet to evacuate, with floodwaters expected to affect properties.

People who can’t stay with family and friends have been advised to go to the Sussex Inlet Police Station to register for emergency accommodation.

SES Commissioner Carlene York said the ground across parts of the South Coast was unstable after last summer’s bushfires. Residents were urged to be alert for landslides and fallen trees.

Authorities have told residents to move vehicles under cover, secure loose items around homes and remain at least eight metres from fallen power lines.

Meanwhile, temperatures are expected to drop below zero in some parts of Victoria, with the bureau issuing a frost warning for the north-east.

In Western Australia, gusty showers and thunderstorms are forecast for much of the south-west on Monday.

South Australia can expect showers from Tuesday through to Sunday. The forecast comes after a dry July, with the state’s rainfall 67 per cent below average.

-with AAP