Waterlogged parts of NSW are suffering their worst floods in years with heavy rains and damaging winds forecast to again lash the state today after soaking the state over the weekend.
One commuter travelling into the CBD from Holsworthy in south west Sydney complained to news.com.au they’d been stuck in traffic for over an hour. Others complained of two hour-long train commutes and little communication from Transport staff.
The severity of the weather has put a strain on the NSW State Emergency Service (SES), who have today urged people to stay home from work.
“We are trying to ask people to reconsider their travel, a number of roads are closed,” SES spokesman Matt Kirby told reporters.
“And we are still seeing people driving into flood water.”
Police divers are reportedly searching for a driver who hasn’t been accounted for after their car was reportedly washed from a causeway in Galston Gorge, in the Berowra Valley Regional Park, according to the ABC.
So far the SES 200 have had to be rescued from their cars after driving them into floodwaters.
A full up to date list of road closures in NSW is available here.
At the busy Whitlam Square intersection in Sydney’s CBD, traffic lights were out this morning as vehicles made their way through to Liverpool, Oxford, College streets and Wentworth Ave.
— Riley Stuart (@RileyStuart1) February 9, 2020
Hi Sapna, sorry – I can’t really give you specific time frame on that as traffic conditions play a big part in their turn around. We are advising to delay any non-essential travel, however major delays are expected if you must travel.
— T9 Sydney Trains (@T9SydneyTrains) February 9, 2020
I’ve been on this train for nearly and hour and still have another hour to go.
— Michelle (@Spookysadghoul) February 9, 2020
Sydney Trains was advising passengers to avoid non-essential travel as the network was affected by major delays from last night through to this morning, as rain and wind pounded the city overnight.
Delays are currently being experienced on the T2 City to Parramatta or Leppington line, T3 City to Liverpool or Lidcombe via Bankstown line, T4 Bondi Junction to Waterfall or Cronulla, and T8 City to Macarthur via Airport or Sydenham lines. Train commuters are advised to “allow plenty of extra travel time due to severe weather conditions affecting infrastructure at various locations” according to Transport NSW.
The train had its stopping pattern altered to not include my stop so I came home. This is campbelltown on the way out after about half an hour without any trains. RIP #sydneytrains pic.twitter.com/h33WC1Knr0
— Christine (@Chrissaayyyyy) February 9, 2020
MULTIPLE ROAD ACCIDENTS CAUSE TRAFFIC CHAOS
On the roads, wet, windy and foggy conditions have been wreaking havoc for motorists, with crashes and traffic being reported at multiple major roads, highways and motorways across the city.
In the busy Sydney Harbour Tunnel, a truck break down in a southbound lane has closed one of the southbound lanes near the exits of the tunnel, causing heavy traffic, according to Live Traffic Sydney.
On the M5, eastbound traffic heading into the city was “very heavy” just before 7.30am due to a multi vehicle crash just past Heathcote Road at Moorebank.
At Sylvania in Sydney’s south, flooding had closed all southbound lanes on Port Hacking Road at Box Road last night, and motorists had been urged to take Box road as an alternate route.
At the moment we have close to 5000 hazard and emergency jobs in the system. Our crews will be in attendance as soon as it’s possible, however given the extensive damage from the severe weather event there may be some delay. Sincere apologies for the inconvenience.
— Ausgrid (@Ausgrid) February 9, 2020
Ausgrid are working to restore power to thousands of homes across the network. In tweets online they told customers their emergency response crews were still working to respond to “storm related hazards across the network and are unable to provide an estimated restoration time for outages”. They advised customers asking about the restoration of power in the Putney and Ryde areas to prepare to go without power for “some time”.
Rainfall over the weekend was the heaviest is about 20 years after the Sydney basin was hammered by an East Coast Low that also brought strong winds.
Since 9am on Sunday, Holsworthy recorded 224.2mm on rainfall, Badgerys Creek recorded 200mm, Campbelltown copped 172.4mm and Sydney Olympic Park recorded 191.0mm. Katoomba in the Blue Mountains also got an absolute drenching, receiving 193.0mm, according to the Bureau of Meteorology NSW.