Sydney braces for heavy rain as parts of the Illawarra exceed the July average in one day


Sydney is bracing for severe weather and potential flooding as parts of the Illawarra region bear the brunt of the heavy rainfall.

In an updated warning, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said rain was forecast from Saturday that could lead to flash flooding for the Sydney Metropolitan area, the Illawarra parts of the Hunter and Central Tablelands.

Sunday could see more of the same with possible “six hours of precipitation totals between 70 and 120mm”.

While Sydney is expected to be hit later this afternoon, Kiama on the state’s south coast has already had 138mm of rain in the past 22 hours – more than the July average of 92.3mm.

Over the same period, more than 150mm fell at Wollongong, 174mm at Ulladulla and 205mm at Broughton Creek, just south of Kiama.

Increased rain in moisture-heavy terrain is adding to the potential for landslides, the BOM has also warned.

The State Emergency Service (SES) has rescued three people from rising waters in the Illawarra region, two in Foxground and another in Albion Park.

sandbags in front of a house
The SES has made three rescues, but says most calls for help are over sandbags.Supplied: NSW SES

SES inspector Tom Jory said the drivers were caught in flash flooding.

“We have seen one where a person has attempted to cross a flooded road,” said Mr Jory.

“And we’ve seen another one where a few people have found themselves isolated because a low level crossing has seen water rise over the top.

“They made the right decision, the safe decision, and they called for help before trying to cross on their own.”

In the past 24 hours, 233 jobs have been registered with the SES across the state, most of them for sandbag and leaky roof help.

Federal Emergency Management Senator Murray Watt said the rainiest regions have already seen flooding this year and the Defense Forces were on standby to help.

“The NSW government has asked us to provide two Defense Force nighttime helicopters with special equipment, particularly for possible rescue operations and they have also asked for 100 troops to be supplied,” he said.

“From tonight the helicopters are ready, from tomorrow morning the troops are ready.

“We all hope that these resources will not be necessary.”

a family of four, a man, a woman and two young men walking in the rain with umbrellas
The Williamson family’s vacation in Sydney is ruined.ABC News: Jake Lapham

David Williamson, his partner Michelle and their two sons were in Sydney Harbor in the rain this morning.

“We’re coming from Melbourne on holiday. I think Sydney rains more than Melbourne these days,” Williamson said.

“I think there is 100 percent” [chance of] rain for the five days we are here,” added Ms Williamson.

Catchments from the Hunter to the South Coast are also monitored.

The BOM says minor to moderate flooding could occur in the Hunter, Central Coast, Greater Sydney and South Coast.

While the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley could experience major flooding.

Some of the focus areas include: Gosford, Sydney, Penrith, Parramatta, Wollongong, Nowra, Bowral, Campbelltown, Katoomba, Huskisson, Springwood and Bilpin.

Severe weather is expected to continue through Monday due to stratification on the east coast in the trench on Sunday.

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