The Sydney basin has seen the heaviest rainfall in about 20 years in the past few days as communities were hammered by an East Coast Low that also brought strong winds.
And the deluge is not over yet, with heavy rains and damaging winds again forecast to lash Sydney and the state of NSW.
There was some relief on Monday when floodwaters along major rivers appeared to have peaked overnight after a number of communities were urged on Sunday to evacuate.
But conditions remain serious, and dangerous floodwaters remain a risk.
SEVERE WEATHER WARNING: for Damaging Winds, Heavy Rain, Abnormally High Tides & Damaging Surf for Illawarra, South Coast and parts Northern Rivers, Mid North Coast, Hunter, Metropolitan, Southern Tablelands and Snowy Mountains Forecast Districts. Warning: https://t.co/nAKm6XkjoQ pic.twitter.com/omV4cbSmdH
— Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) February 9, 2020
The communities of North Richmond and Windsor along the Hawkesbury River face moderate flooding after a major flood peak on Sunday night before the waters began to fall.
Moderate flooding continues along the Nepean River at Menangle and Camden and a flood watch is current for the Upper Cox’s River and Mcdonald River.
Water from the Georges River was inundating Milperra and Liverpool in western Sydney in the early hours of Monday, the NSW State Emergency Service said.
River levels at Milperra are now higher than during the 1988 flood and major flooding is impacting other areas such as Liverpool, Warwick Farm and Chipping Norton.
Residents near the Narrabeen Lagoon in northern Sydney evacuated overnight after being told flooding in the area was likely to be worse than the damaging flood of 2016.
The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast more severe weather conditions on Monday with heavy rains, strong winds and damaging surf possible along the state’s entire coast.
Torrential rain could create potentially deadly flash floods in Sydney, Illawarra and the Central Tablelands, the bureau warned.
Utility companies are rushing to restore power in swamped regions, with up to 150,000 customers without electricity on Sunday night.
Ausgrid was racing to restore power to up to 13,000 home in northern suburbs of Sydney including Hornsby and Pymble, parts of the Central Coast including Ourimbah, Avoca and Wyong and a number of pockets in Greater Sydney, Newcastle, and the Hunter.
“The strong rains and wind have caused more than 2400 hazards to the electricity network such as fallen power poles, large trees across roads, damaged wires and extensive flash flooding,” Ausgrid said.
Endevour Energy had about 19,000 customers without power.
The NSW SES has responded to about 10,000 calls for help and carried out multiple rescues of people trapped by rising rivers and floodwaters.
The weather has also caused major disruptions to Sydney’s public transport system and road networks commuters are being told to check timetables and travels apps before setting out on Monday morning.
Some train services and harbour ferry services have been cancelled.