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Floods in Sydney force thousands to flee – Asia Pacific News News – Report by AFR

Rain-swollen rivers poured muddy-brown water over parts of Sydney on Tuesday, flooding homes and streets and forcing thousands to flee.

Emergency services have now ordered about 50,000 people to evacuate or prepare to escape the rising waters in New South Wales, officials said.

Emergency responders carried out 22 flood rescues in Sydney overnight, they said, with the support of 100 Army troops stationed in the state.

The flooding, heavy rain and high winds caused power outages for 19,000 homes, officials said.

Australia was on the sharp end of climate change, with droughts, deadly bushfires, Great Barrier Reef bleaching events and flooding becoming increasingly frequent and intense as global weather patterns change.

Higher temperatures mean the atmosphere holds more moisture and releases more rain.

“Sydney is not out of danger, this is no time to be complacent,” State Emergency Services Commissioner Carlene York said at a news conference.

Meteorologists predicted the weather front would move north along the east coast after bringing rain to Sydney for four days.

The federal government has declared a natural disaster in 23 flooded parts of New South Wales and released aid payments to affected residents.

– ‘It’s so fast’ –

With much of the ground already soaked, water rose rapidly in the hardest-hit areas and was soon sloshing around the walls of some homes in Sydney’s western suburbs.

Many affected people have experienced back-to-back flooding on the East Coast, hitting 2021 and then again in March this year when more than 20 people were killed.

“It’s so fast you can’t even get out that fast, you can’t even move anything,” resident Jenny Lee said after parts of her western Sydney suburb of Shanes Park were engulfed overnight.

“You can only get help, take the dog with you. That’s it,” she told AFP news agency.

In the western suburb of Windsor, resident Tyler Cassel and his partner fled their tenement by paddling through the water in a yellow canoe.

The flood left his house sitting in a lake of water.

“It was rising very quickly, faster than usual,” he told national broadcaster ABC.

“It’s actually one of the scariest floods I’ve ever been a part of.”

Much of the flooding has occurred in a major river system downstream of the Warragamba Dam in western Sydney, which has been forced to spill large volumes of excess water since Sunday.

The huge concrete dam supplies most of the city’s drinking water.

New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet urged people to obey evacuation orders.

“We’ve had fires and … numerous floods during this period,” he said at a news conference.

“These orders ensure we get people out safely,” Perrottet said.

“This event is far from over.”

Rain has eased in some areas of Sydney but flood warnings are likely to continue for days, warned Jane Golding of the state meteorology bureau.

#Floods #Sydney #force #thousands #flee

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