NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES) is urging communities to stay alert amidst heavy rain that is hitting the state’s Mid North Coast, as it could lead to significant flash flooding for communities.
The Bureau of Meteorology has advised ‘life-threatening’ heavy rain is expected to continue to hit communities along the Mid North Coast and Hunter regions, over the next 6 hours, and shift to the Metro Sydney and even the Illawarra tonight or early Saturday morning.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services, David Elliott, is advising people to heed the warnings and prepare for volatile conditions.
“Our NSW SES volunteers are gearing up for a busy weekend, so before you consider doing something stupid, which puts you at risk, remember that our emergency services personnel are putting their lives at risk to keep you safe,” Mr Elliott said.
“My plea to the community is that if you come across floodwater while driving, never drive, walk, or ride through it – if the road is flooded, forget it,” he said.
Commissioner Carlene York appealed to members of the community to heed the warnings of NSW SES and be ready for flash flooding.
“We are calling on all communities from the Mid North Coast right down to the Illawarra, to be vigilant and monitor weather conditions closely,” Commissioner York said.
“Flash flooding is a huge concern. The real danger is that it can’t be predicted and will happen extremely quickly.
“Knowing how flooding can affect your local area, your street, your property or even your business will go a long way to keeping you and your family safe.
“Unfortunately, 41 people have needed to be rescued from floodwater since Thursday 18 March.
“It does not matter how experienced a driver you think you are, or how big your car is, do attempt to drive across it – if an area is flooded, you need to avoid it altogether.
Commissioner York added that for areas where heavy rain is yet to hit, communities are urged to prepare as best they can to mitigate any potential damage to their homes.
“Just as our volunteers are prepared, we need our communities to be prepared as well,” Commissioner York said.
“We’re asking people to do simple things, like moving your car away from trees and powerlines, and undercover where possible, and clearing your gutters and downpipes of any blockages.
“Also, if you know your property is prone to flooding, ask your local NSW SES unit for sandbags.
“If you need emergency assistance during a storm or flood, please call us on 132 500, but if the situation is life-threatening, call Triple Zero (000),” she said.