6 April 2024

UPDATED: Heavy rain causes chaos on Illawarra roads, sportsgrounds closed

| Zoe Cartwright
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Wollongong photographer Brad Chilby took this spectacular photo of a storm front rolling in over Wollongong in 2017. Photo: Chilby Photography.

SATURDAY 6 April 8:30 am: Roads across the Illawarra have been trashed by heavy rain overnight, and emergency services have urged residents to delay travel if possible, drive to the conditions, and stay off submersed surfaces.

Over the past 24 hours SES crews have responded to more than 220 incidents in the Illawarra, including 60 flood rescues.

Seacliff bridge is out of action after a section of Lawrence Hargrave Drive near Paterson Road washed away overnight.

South of Thirroul and north of Bulli Lawrence Hargrave Drive was awash with debris in patches, and underwater in others at the height of the storm.

Motorists are advised to take care and allow extra time in the area this morning.

Further south road closures are in place on Springhill Road near Five Islands Road, due to flooding.

Peterborough Avenue and Addison Avenue in Lake Illawarra, George Street in Warilla and Shellharbour Road between Warilla and Barrack Heights are all affected by flooding.

At Dapto, Bong Bong Road and Fowlers Road are both underwater, leaving Horsley residents stranded.

Macquarie Pass is closed in both directions west of Tullimbar, and at Albion Park the Princes Highway, Airport Road, Tongarra Road, Station Street, Terry Street and Taylor Road are all flood-affected.

A section of the Illawarra Highway between M1 Princes Motorway and Tongarra Road is closed.

Wollongong Botanic Gardens are closed due to substantial flood damage: Mt Keira lookout park is also closed.

READ ALSO From an elusive emu to tales of the past, photographer Brad Chilby brings landscapes, history to life

FRIDAY 5 April 4:30 pm: An east coast low has wrought havoc on Illawarra roads as emergency services urge people to stay home.

Just after 3:30 pm a ute travelling along Appin Road flipped. Police and road services are on scene and two of the westbound lanes were still blocked shortly after 4 pm.

A NSW Police spokesperson said no-one was injured in the crash.

Further south at Figtree, flooding across the northbound lanes of the Princes Highway has caused traffic delays for commuters. Transport for NSW workers are on scene.

Kiama Council says Rowlins Road at Gerringong and Factory Lane in Jamberoo are both submerged, and should be avoided.

The council has also urged motorists to be cautious on Swamp Road Jamberoo and Dido Street in Kiama.

READ ALSO ‘Black Nor’easter’ a recipe for heavy downpours across southeast NSW

All Wollongong, Kiama and Shellharbour sports grounds are closed due to the wet conditions.

More to come.

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