Australian floods: New warnings issued, the worst may be still to come

Further evacuation orders have been issued for parts of New South Wales, with the Australian states premier saying the worst may be yet to come.
As parts of Sydney's northwest experience major flooding, further evacuation orders have been issued for the states capital.

NSW's State Emergency Service has confirmed that major flooding of the Hawkesbury River.

Australias Bureau of Meteorology says the state's south coast is due to cop a drenching and will get some of the heaviest falls on Tuesday.

The bureau is predicting widespread falls of between 100-200mm across the region, and 300mm in some parts.

The trough that has been causing the havoc is due to collide with another system coming in from the southwest.

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That means Sydney and the mid-north coast could cop another 100mm in the next day or so, and a season's worth of rain is possible in the west.

As the predictions for further rainfall come, the State Emergency Service (SES) has told residents in several suburbs throughout Sydneys northwest to prepare to leave.

More than 18,000 residents have already evacuated across the state's north and throughout Sydney.

Mark Baker/AP
New South Wales is Australias most populous state, but thousands are being told to leave their homes as torrential rain causes the worst flooding in decades.

On Monday evening, the SES issued an evacuation order for low-lying properties in North Richmond and Agnes Banks due to rising flood water.

It also issued a warning for moderate flooding along the Nepean River at Penrith with further rises possible.

And flood waters are expected to impact the Upper Nepean River at Menangle Bridge.

Major flooding is occurring on parts of the Colo River with the waters expected to continue to rise until Tuesday, while major flooding similar to the 1988 and 1990 flood events is occurring along the Hawkesbury River.

Jenny Evans/Getty Images
People look on as flood water rises along the New Windsor Bridge on the Hawkesbury River in Windsor, now further evacuation warnings are in place across New South Wales.

The Bureau of Meteorology says the heavy rainfall is expected continue throughout Tuesday.

New South Wales top forecaster says the record-breaking floods in many of the state's towns are the worst he's seen - and there's more torrential rain to come.

Homes have been swept away, and thousands evacuated amid relentless rain that has lashed the NSW coast for days.

Some locations have experienced almost a metre of rain in one week.

"I've been a flood forecaster in the bureau for 20 years and this is probably the worst flooding that I've experienced and I've had to forecast," flood manager Justin Robinson said.

"We've got a flood watch that covers all the way from the Queensland border down to the Victorian border - all those coastal rivers.

"My thoughts really go out to those impacted communities and individuals."

Mark Baker/AP
New South Wales top forecaster says the record-breaking floods in many of the state's towns are the worst he's seen - and there's more torrential rain to come.

Upstate communities are already facing the worst flooding conditions since 1929 and those along the Hawkesbury River are confronting the worst flooding since 1961.

A number of towns across the state have been isolated for days, some without fresh water or power.

Roads have been cut off, hundreds of homes inundated and more than 200 schools shut.

And the renewed rainfall predictions mean the worst is potentially yet to come, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has told residents to brace themselves, as the worst may be yet to come.

"We're not through the worst of it potentially and that's why we need to brace ourselves," she told reporters.

"We have no illusions about how difficult the next few weeks and months will be."

Moderate flooding is occurring along the Macleay River at Kempsey and Smithtown where it has peaked, but the bureau predicts further rises on Tuesday.

Matt Blyth/Getty Images
The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting widespread, heavy rainfall on Tuesday. The trough that has been causing the havoc is due to collide with another system coming in from the southwest.

Major flooding is occurring at Wollombi in the Hunter Valley, while moderate flooding is still plaguing Taree and Gloucester.

Inland, the Macquarie River levels have peaked at Bathurst, with minor flooding continuing.

There has been some good news, with those evacuated from the western part of Jamisontown and Penrith, and the northern end of Mulgoa are among those given the all-clear to return home.

The Australian Defence Force will provide two search and rescue helicopters out of the NSW south coast for 24 hour operations during Tuesday.


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