10 May 2024

SES urges Illawarra residents to prepare for flash floods over the weekend

| Zoe Cartwright
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A woman in an orange hi-vis vest and hard hat stands in knee high water with her arm out. She is looking at a car stuck in the water.

An SES volunteer from the Wollongong unit on Carrington Street, Woonona, during recent floods. Photo: NSW SES.

The Illawarra is forecast to cop a drenching over the weekend, and the NSW State Emergency Service wants residents to prepare now.

Isolated heavy falls of up to 200 mm are possible from Saturday afternoon into Sunday afternoon, and with catchments already saturated, there’s a high potential for flash floods.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a flood watch for minor riverine flooding in the Hawkesbury Nepean Valley and South Coast from Saturday.

NSW SES Assistant Commissioner Nicole Hogan said the main risk associated with the forecast was flash flooding, but minor riverine rises were possible.

“We’re closely monitoring the weather and are prepared to respond swiftly to any emergencies that may arise,” Assistant Commissioner Hogan said.

“Our teams are on standby, and we have prepositioned people and assets to assist the community and mitigate the impacts of heavy rainfall.

“Flash flooding can occur rapidly and without warning, posing a significant risk to life and property. People should, where possible, stay indoors during heavy rainfall and avoid driving or walking through floodwaters.”

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Prepare your home and help NSW SES volunteers by making sure gutters and drains are cleared ahead of storms and heavy rainfall.

“By cleaning your gutters ahead of rain, you can prevent damage to your properties,” Assistant Commissioner Hogan said.

“Other ways residents can prepare for storms include securing loose outdoor items, having an emergency kit that includes essential items and downloading the Hazards Near Me app to stay informed.”

For assistance during floods and storms, contact the NSW SES on 132 500. In life-threatening emergencies, dial Triple Zero (000).

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