About 500,000 people in NSW are subject to evacuation orders or warnings as the epicenter of the flood moves south and Sydney, Hunter and the Central Coast are exposed to heavy rains.
Emergency Situations Minister Steph Cook said that in Sydney, Hunter and the Central Coast faced “insidious weather conditions”, the next 24 hours – critical.
The Bureau of Meteorology said that on Thursday the precipitation level could reach a maximum of 250 millimeters, as it warns of life-threatening floods and destructive winds with gusts exceeding 90 km / h.
The South Coast is also warned of small floods in the Gulf of Scholhaven and Sussex.
Major floods are expected on Thursday along the Hawkesbury and Nepian and George rivers, in Menangles, North Richmond, Penrith and Windsor.
Prime Minister Dominique Perottet said 500,000 people across New Wales were subject to evacuation or warning. 94 orders and warnings were issued during the night.
The State Emergency Service issued 76 evacuation orders that affected 200,000 people, and 18 evacuation warnings were sent to nearly 300,000 people.
“If you fall under one of these evacuation warnings, be prepared … If you fall under one of these evacuation orders, please leave,” Mr Perottet said on Thursday.
“These instructions do not exist for this, they are designed to protect you and your family.
“We believe that things will get worse before they get better here in our state,” he said.
“But my message to you is that we will survive this.”
Tens of thousands of people living in the western, northwestern and southwestern suburbs of Sydney, including Windsor, North Richmond, Camden and Milper, have been ordered to flee to safety. Evacuation centers have been set up in suburbs such as Kenley Vale and Blacktown.
SES Assistant Commissioner Sean Kins said the approaching east coast near Newcastle would bring heavy rain to Hunter, Central Coast and Sydney, Ilawara and the South Coast from Thursday morning.
The river level is rising extremely fast due to heavy rainfall, with flood levels along the Hawkesbury Nepian to be worse than the one that hit the area in March 2021, Mr Kins said.
The Nepian River in Penrith will reach nine meters, which will lead to moderate floods, the Hawkesbury River in North Richmond will reach 15 meters, which will lead to a major flood.
In Windsor, by Thursday night, the Hawkesbury River will reach 14 meters – two meters above the main flood level.
Residents of western Sydney, who survived the floods in the Hawkesbury-Nepian region last March, were told to leave on Wednesday night after about 600 gigaliters of water flowed through the wall of the Varragamba dam.
Ms. Cook said it will have a significant downstream impact if there are about 130,000 homes on the crowded dam path.
SES has also announced a road weather alert for all Sydney suburbs.
NSW Health said people isolated because of COVID-19 who needed to evacuate their homes should also leave. He advised people positive on COVID at flood evacuation centers to inform staff, wear a mask and physically distance themselves from others.
In Lismore, on the north coast of New Wales, clean-up is continuing as the death toll rises, with four people confirmed as a result of flooding in the region.
The ruined city is also facing food shortages, empty supermarket shelves and a shortage of petrol. Residents report that the ATMs have run out of cash.
The deficit is expected to last at least next week.
Mr Perrotet noted that Australian Defense helicopters were dropping critical food supplies to evacuation centers.
“We have a battle on two fronts. We are dealing with an immediate response to ensure the safety of people … through the operations center, and much attention is being paid to recovery, ”he said.
Two women aged 80 and a man aged 70 were found dead in flooded homes this week, and the bodies of another man were found floating down Lismore Street.
A fifth man died on the Central Coast last Friday morning after his car was demolished by floods.