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In pictures: More than 30,000 may need to flee Sydney amid intense flooding

Parts of the city of 5 million people are facing a fourth flooding emergency in a year-and-a-half

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An emergency crew rescues two ponies from a flooded area in Milperra, Sydney metropolitan area, Australia July 3, 2022 in this screen grab obtained from a handout video. NSW State Emergency Service/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. MANDATORY CREDIT.

An emergency crew rescues two ponies from a flooded area in Milperra, Sydney metropolitan area, Australia July 3, 2022 in this screen grab obtained from a handout video. NSW State Emergency Service/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. MANDATORY CREDIT.

A woman looks over the flooded farmland at Richmond on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia, Monday, July 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

A woman looks over the flooded farmland at Richmond on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia, Monday, July 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

People look on as the Windsor Bridge is submerged under floodwater from the swollen Hawkesbury River in Windsor, north west of Sydney, Australia, July 4, 2022. AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi via REUTERS

People look on as the Windsor Bridge is submerged under floodwater from the swollen Hawkesbury River in Windsor, north west of Sydney, Australia, July 4, 2022. AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi via REUTERS

A road closure sign lies semi-submerged at Camden on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia, Monday, July 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

A road closure sign lies semi-submerged at Camden on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia, Monday, July 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

Flooding resulting from a severe weather event with prolonged rains is seen at the Hawkesbury River northwest of Sydney in Wisemans Ferry, Australia, March 25, 2021. REUTERS/Loren Elliott/File Photo

Flooding resulting from a severe weather event with prolonged rains is seen at the Hawkesbury River northwest of Sydney in Wisemans Ferry, Australia, March 25, 2021. REUTERS/Loren Elliott/File Photo

An emergency vehicle blocks access to the flooded Windsor Bridge on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia, Monday, July 4, 2022. More than 30,000 residents of Sydney and its surrounds have been told to evacuate or prepare to abandon their homes on Monday as Australia's largest city braces for what could be its worst flooding in 18 months. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

An emergency vehicle blocks access to the flooded Windsor Bridge on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia, Monday, July 4, 2022. More than 30,000 residents of Sydney and its surrounds have been told to evacuate or prepare to abandon their homes on Monday as Australia's largest city braces for what could be its worst flooding in 18 months. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

Sea foam gets blown around the car park near North Cronulla beach in Cronulla, New South Wales, Australia July 3, 2022 in this screen grab taken from a social media video. Twitter @c_michelle2795/via REUTERS

Sea foam gets blown around the car park near North Cronulla beach in Cronulla, New South Wales, Australia July 3, 2022 in this screen grab taken from a social media video. Twitter @c_michelle2795/via REUTERS

A New South Wales State Emergency Service (SES) crew is seen in a rescue boat as roads are submerged under floodwater from the swollen Hawkesbury River in Windsor, northwest of Sydney, Monday, July 4, 2022. (Bianca De Marchi/AAP Image via AP)

A New South Wales State Emergency Service (SES) crew is seen in a rescue boat as roads are submerged under floodwater from the swollen Hawkesbury River in Windsor, northwest of Sydney, Monday, July 4, 2022. (Bianca De Marchi/AAP Image via AP)

Workers clear mud from a bowling green at Camden on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia, Monday, July 4, 2022. More than 30,000 residents of Sydney and its surrounds have been told to evacuate or prepare to abandon their homes on Monday as Australia's largest city braces for what could be its worst flooding in 18 months. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

Workers clear mud from a bowling green at Camden on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia, Monday, July 4, 2022. More than 30,000 residents of Sydney and its surrounds have been told to evacuate or prepare to abandon their homes on Monday as Australia's largest city braces for what could be its worst flooding in 18 months. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

A car sits semi-submerged in flood waters at Camden on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia, Monday, July 4, 2022. More than 30,000 residents of Sydney and its surrounds have been told to evacuate or prepare to abandon their homes on Monday as Australia’s largest city braces for what could be its worst flooding in 18 months. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

A car sits semi-submerged in flood waters at Camden on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia, Monday, July 4, 2022. More than 30,000 residents of Sydney and its surrounds have been told to evacuate or prepare to abandon their homes on Monday as Australia’s largest city braces for what could be its worst flooding in 18 months. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

The Manly Ferry makes its way through heavy swells across Sydney Harbour, Australia, Sunday, July 3, 2022. A severe weather warning for heavy rainfall and strong winds has been issued for Sydney, as parts of NSW have received more than their monthly average rainfall within hours this weekend. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

The Manly Ferry makes its way through heavy swells across Sydney Harbour, Australia, Sunday, July 3, 2022. A severe weather warning for heavy rainfall and strong winds has been issued for Sydney, as parts of NSW have received more than their monthly average rainfall within hours this weekend. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

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An emergency crew rescues two ponies from a flooded area in Milperra, Sydney metropolitan area, Australia July 3, 2022 in this screen grab obtained from a handout video. NSW State Emergency Service/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. MANDATORY CREDIT.

More than 30,000 residents of Sydney and its surrounds have been told to evacuate or prepare to abandon their homes as Australia’s largest city braces for what could be its worst flooding in 18 months.

Parts of the city of 5 million people are facing a fourth flooding emergency in a year-and-a-half after torrential rain since Friday caused dams to overflow and waterways to break their banks.

“The latest information we have is that there’s a very good chance that the flooding will be worse than any of the other three floods that those areas had in the last 18 months,” emergency management minister Murray Watt told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

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People look on as the Windsor Bridge is submerged under floodwater from the swollen Hawkesbury River in Windsor, north west of Sydney, Australia, July 4, 2022. AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi via REUTERS

People look on as the Windsor Bridge is submerged under floodwater from the swollen Hawkesbury River in Windsor, north west of Sydney, Australia, July 4, 2022. AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi via REUTERS

People look on as the Windsor Bridge is submerged under floodwater from the swollen Hawkesbury River in Windsor, north west of Sydney, Australia, July 4, 2022. AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi via REUTERS

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A woman looks over the flooded farmland at Richmond on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia, Monday, July 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

A woman looks over the flooded farmland at Richmond on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia, Monday, July 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

A woman looks over the flooded farmland at Richmond on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia, Monday, July 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

The current flooding might affect areas that managed to stay dry during the previous floods, Mr Watt added.

New South Wales state premier Dominic Perrottet said 32,000 people were impacted by evacuation orders and warnings.

“You’d probably expect to see that number increase over the course of the week,” Mr Perrottet said.

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Flooding resulting from a severe weather event with prolonged rains is seen at the Hawkesbury River northwest of Sydney in Wisemans Ferry, Australia, March 25, 2021. REUTERS/Loren Elliott/File Photo

Flooding resulting from a severe weather event with prolonged rains is seen at the Hawkesbury River northwest of Sydney in Wisemans Ferry, Australia, March 25, 2021. REUTERS/Loren Elliott/File Photo

Flooding resulting from a severe weather event with prolonged rains is seen at the Hawkesbury River northwest of Sydney in Wisemans Ferry, Australia, March 25, 2021. REUTERS/Loren Elliott/File Photo

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A road closure sign lies semi-submerged at Camden on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia, Monday, July 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

A road closure sign lies semi-submerged at Camden on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia, Monday, July 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

A road closure sign lies semi-submerged at Camden on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia, Monday, July 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

Emergency services had made 116 flood rescues in recent days, 83 of them since 9 pm Sunday, he said. Hundreds more requests for help were made by Monday morning.

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology manager Jane Golding said some areas between Newcastle, north of Sydney, and Wollongong, south of Sydney had received more than a metre (39 inches) of rain in the previous 24 hours. Some have received more than 1.5 metres (59 inches).

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Sea foam gets blown around the car park near North Cronulla beach in Cronulla, New South Wales, Australia July 3, 2022 in this screen grab taken from a social media video. Twitter @c_michelle2795/via REUTERS

Sea foam gets blown around the car park near North Cronulla beach in Cronulla, New South Wales, Australia July 3, 2022 in this screen grab taken from a social media video. Twitter @c_michelle2795/via REUTERS

Sea foam gets blown around the car park near North Cronulla beach in Cronulla, New South Wales, Australia July 3, 2022 in this screen grab taken from a social media video. Twitter @c_michelle2795/via REUTERS

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An emergency vehicle blocks access to the flooded Windsor Bridge on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia, Monday, July 4, 2022. More than 30,000 residents of Sydney and its surrounds have been told to evacuate or prepare to abandon their homes on Monday as Australia's largest city braces for what could be its worst flooding in 18 months. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

An emergency vehicle blocks access to the flooded Windsor Bridge on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia, Monday, July 4, 2022. More than 30,000 residents of Sydney and its surrounds have been told to evacuate or prepare to abandon their homes on Monday as Australia's largest city braces for what could be its worst flooding in 18 months. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

An emergency vehicle blocks access to the flooded Windsor Bridge on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia, Monday, July 4, 2022. More than 30,000 residents of Sydney and its surrounds have been told to evacuate or prepare to abandon their homes on Monday as Australia's largest city braces for what could be its worst flooding in 18 months. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

“The system that has been generating this weather does show signs that it will ease tomorrow, but throughout today, expect more rain,” Ms Golding said.

Rain was forecast across New South Wales’s coast, including Sydney, all week, she said.

The flooding danger was highest along the Hawkesbury River, in northwest Sydney, and the Nepean River in Sydney’s west.

“The water is flowing really quickly,” Ms Golding said. “It’s dangerous out on the rivers and we do have some more rain to fall which means the flash-flood risk is not over yet.”

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Workers clear mud from a bowling green at Camden on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia, Monday, July 4, 2022. More than 30,000 residents of Sydney and its surrounds have been told to evacuate or prepare to abandon their homes on Monday as Australia's largest city braces for what could be its worst flooding in 18 months. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

Workers clear mud from a bowling green at Camden on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia, Monday, July 4, 2022. More than 30,000 residents of Sydney and its surrounds have been told to evacuate or prepare to abandon their homes on Monday as Australia's largest city braces for what could be its worst flooding in 18 months. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

Workers clear mud from a bowling green at Camden on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia, Monday, July 4, 2022. More than 30,000 residents of Sydney and its surrounds have been told to evacuate or prepare to abandon their homes on Monday as Australia's largest city braces for what could be its worst flooding in 18 months. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

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A New South Wales State Emergency Service (SES) crew is seen in a rescue boat as roads are submerged under floodwater from the swollen Hawkesbury River in Windsor, northwest of Sydney, Monday, July 4, 2022. (Bianca De Marchi/AAP Image via AP)

A New South Wales State Emergency Service (SES) crew is seen in a rescue boat as roads are submerged under floodwater from the swollen Hawkesbury River in Windsor, northwest of Sydney, Monday, July 4, 2022. (Bianca De Marchi/AAP Image via AP)

A New South Wales State Emergency Service (SES) crew is seen in a rescue boat as roads are submerged under floodwater from the swollen Hawkesbury River in Windsor, northwest of Sydney, Monday, July 4, 2022. (Bianca De Marchi/AAP Image via AP)

State Emergency Services commissioner Carlene York said strong winds had toppled trees, damaging rooves and blocking roads. She advised against unnecessary travel.

A flooded sports venue in Camden on the outskirts of Sydney (Mark Baker/AP)

Off the New South Wales coast, a cargo ship with 21 crew members was drifting at sea after losing power. Local reports said the ship that left Wollongong on Monday morning was anchored near the coast and a tugboat was working to keep it from nearby cliffs and rocks.

A more powerful tugboat was heading to the location to tow the stranded cargo ship to sea. A plan to airlift the ship’s crew to safety was abandoned because of bad weather.

Repeated flooding was taking a toll on members of a riverside community southwest of Sydney, said mayor Theresa Fedeli of the Camden municipality on the Nepean River.

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A car sits semi-submerged in flood waters at Camden on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia, Monday, July 4, 2022. More than 30,000 residents of Sydney and its surrounds have been told to evacuate or prepare to abandon their homes on Monday as Australia’s largest city braces for what could be its worst flooding in 18 months. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

A car sits semi-submerged in flood waters at Camden on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia, Monday, July 4, 2022. More than 30,000 residents of Sydney and its surrounds have been told to evacuate or prepare to abandon their homes on Monday as Australia’s largest city braces for what could be its worst flooding in 18 months. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

A car sits semi-submerged in flood waters at Camden on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia, Monday, July 4, 2022. More than 30,000 residents of Sydney and its surrounds have been told to evacuate or prepare to abandon their homes on Monday as Australia’s largest city braces for what could be its worst flooding in 18 months. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

“It’s just devastating. They just keep on saying ‘devastating, not again,’” Ms Fedeli said.

“I just keep on saying … ‘We’ve got to be strong, we will get through this.’ But you know deep down it’s really hitting home hard to a lot of people,” she added.

Mr Perrottet said government and communities needed to adapt to major flooding becoming more common across Australia’s most populous state.

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The Manly Ferry makes its way through heavy swells across Sydney Harbour, Australia, Sunday, July 3, 2022. A severe weather warning for heavy rainfall and strong winds has been issued for Sydney, as parts of NSW have received more than their monthly average rainfall within hours this weekend. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

The Manly Ferry makes its way through heavy swells across Sydney Harbour, Australia, Sunday, July 3, 2022. A severe weather warning for heavy rainfall and strong winds has been issued for Sydney, as parts of NSW have received more than their monthly average rainfall within hours this weekend. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

The Manly Ferry makes its way through heavy swells across Sydney Harbour, Australia, Sunday, July 3, 2022. A severe weather warning for heavy rainfall and strong winds has been issued for Sydney, as parts of NSW have received more than their monthly average rainfall within hours this weekend. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

“We’re seeing these flood events more regularly, there’s no doubt about that,” Mr Perrottet said.

“To see what we’re seeing right across Sydney, there’s no doubt these events are becoming more common. And governments need to adjust and make sure that we respond to the changing environment that we find ourselves in.”


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