The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has issued severe weather warnings for the entire coastal area of New South Wales (NSW) on Sunday, February 9. Torrential rain, damaging winds, high tides, and high surf are possible throughout Sunday. The BOM warned that potentially very heavy rainfall in the Hunter (including the Central Coast), Sydney Metropolitan, Illawarra, and eastern parts of the Central Tablelands (including the Blue Mountains) districts may cause life-threatening flash flooding. Some parts of NSW have experienced over 30 cm (12 in) of rainfall as of Sunday morning (local time) within the past 48 hours. Up-to-date information on BOM weather warning can be found on their website here.
Heavy rains have hit NSW, as well as Queensland and Victoria, since Thursday, February 6. Emergency personnel reportedly conducted six flood rescues in the Grafton area of NSW on the night of Saturday, February 8, and similar operations are expected on Sunday. According to the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS), the Illawarra region will likely be the focus for rescue crews. Areas that have been affected by the recent bush fires are also at a particular risk to flooding, with vegetation and trees being prone to run-off.
Associated disruptions, including transportation disruptions, infrastructure damages, and power outages, are possible in the affected areas over the coming days.
Individuals in affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, avoid areas directly affected by flooding, confirm road conditions and flight reservations before setting out, anticipate transportation and business disruptions, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities. Avoid walking or driving through floodwaters; 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult.