Weather Australia: Thousands warned to evacuate now amid life-threatening flash flooding across NSW

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Thousands of Aussies have been warned to “evacuate now” or risk becoming trapped, as the east coast braces for “life-threatening” flash flooding and up to 300mm of rain falling in parts of the east coast.

Dozens of flood warnings have been issued for catchments in NSW and Queensland as the freak deluge continues to wreak havoc over the weekend.

States have been inundated with hundreds of millimetres of rainfall and dangerous winds over the past few days.

NSW’s State Emergency Service (SES) has already issued 11 urgent evacuation warnings for residents to leave “immediately” as floodwaters continue to rise.

One alert for low-lying areas along Sydney’s Narrabeen Lagoon covers people living in Warriewood, North Narrabeen and Narrabeen Peninsula.

“If you remain in the area, you may become trapped without power, water, and other essential services,” the SES’ warning, issued on Saturday morning, states.

“It may be too dangerous for NSW SES to rescue you, and buildings may not be able to withstand the impact of flood water.”

Another urgent evacuation warning has been issued for Picton in the Macarthur region after the town’s CBD was inundated with floodwaters.

62 alerts remain active on the SES’ website.

Multiple properties in Cumberland Reach near Sydney have been urged to evacuate, with the SES warning covering 450 to 480 Laws Farm Road and 560 to 600 and 501 Laws Farm Road.

The Bureau of Meteorology has warned heavy rainfall could lead to flash flooding over the Sydney Metropolitan, Illawarra, and Central Tablelands, Southern Tablelands and South Coast regions this weekend.

Residents in the Blue Mountains and Narooma districts have been warned to brace for possible “life-threatening” flash flooding from intense local falls.

Six-hourly rainfall totals between 90 to 150mm are possible in these areas, according to the bureau.

“Localised 24-hourly rainfall totals between 120 and 200mm are possible and may reach up to 300mm over the Illawarra escarpment,” the bureau’s warning states.

Damaging wind gusts of up to 90kmh have also been forecast in the South West Slopes and along coastal parts of the Sydney Metropolitan area.

Peak wind gusts of up to 125kmh have also been forecast for alpine regions but the bureau says this will ease through Saturday morning.

The wild weather has been attributed to a deepening trough along the NSW coast under the influence of a slow-moving upper level low over the central part of the state.

“Areas of heavy rain and gusty showers and a few thunderstorms will become more widespread south of about Gosford, including over the ranges and tablelands,” the bureau’s severe weather warning states.

“Severe weather has started easing from the north and will continue to do so this morning as the trough moves southeast to the Tasman Sea.”

Multiple evacuation centres have already opened and are accepting residents amid the deluge.

People on the eastern side of Chipping Norton — next to the Georges River, near Bankstown in Sydney’s south west — were told to get out before midnight on Friday.

Flooding is also possible at Emu Plains, Penrith, North Richmond, Lower Portland, Freeman Reach, Sackville North, Picton, Ebenezer, Bligh Park, Jamisontown, Mulgoa, Gronos Point and Agnes Bank – all in Sydney’s western fringes.

While the wild weather appears to have eased in Queensland, multiple flood warnings issued through the week remain in place on the bureau’s website.

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