Residents of four towns have been evacuated as floodwaters
covering an area the size of France sweep across NSW.
So far, 1660 people have been forced from their homes, as
three-quarters of the state remains under water.
Residents in the far south coast town of Bega are the latest
evacuees, with 100 people moved last night.
In nearby Towamba, 367 people are isolated following the
closure of the Princes Highway.
Some 600 people were evacuated from Goulburn yesterday, a day
after 900 residents fled their homes in the Snowy Mountains
town of Cooma along with 60 people in the central west town
A flood warning was issued for low-lying residents in Wagga
Wagga and Tumut, in the state's south.
"They're expecting major flooding of the Tumut River in the
next few hours," State Emergency Service (SES) spokesman
Andrew Richards told AAP.
"We've got it on alert."
People living in 340 properties in the outer western Sydney
enclaves of Pitt Town, Gronos Point and Lower Richmond are
also on alert as the Hawkesbury threatens to burst its banks.
Near Canberra, 400 people in Queanbeyan are also preparing to
evacuate if necessary, along with 16 residents on the south
coast living near the Jerrara Dam.
Sydney's Warragamba Dam - which reached 95 percent capacity
last night - is expected to spill this morning for the first
time in 14 years, with the weather bureau predicting
increased rainfall in the catchment area into today.
Western Sydney looks set to escape with just moderate
flooding, despite 75 percent of NSW being either under water
or threatened by floodwaters as the state buckles under its
heaviest rains since the 1920s.
When the dam spills the water will flood into the already
swollen Murrumbidgee, Hawkesbury and Nepean rivers.
Locals have been advised to keep children home from school on
Friday to avoid problems associated with what is likely to be
moderate flooding in the Nepean Hawkesbury Valley.
SES incident controller for western Sydney Keith Fitzgerald
said it was highly likely this flooding would result in the
closure of the bridges at Windsor and North Richmond.
"People should think seriously about keeping their children
home from school and about changing their normal pattern of
commuting," Mr Fitzgerald told reporters yesterday.
He also warned residents against complacency, saying
flood-threatened residents in western Sydney could put
themselves and their families at risk if they failed to heed
"The main concern I have here in Sydney is complacency," Mr
"Folk will continue to try to go about their day-to-day
business and in doing so put their families and themselves at
Since the rains began, the SES has carried out 13 flood
rescues, including three yesterday, one of which involved a
family and their seven dogs near Coolamon in the Riverina.