NSW braces for once-in-a-generation flooding.
Communities along the Hawkesbury River in NSW are bracing for once-in-a-generation flooding that could displace residents and disrupt utilities for months.
The Bureau of Meteorology expects Monday to bring the worst flooding event to the area northwest of Sydney since November 1961, nearly 60 years ago.
Floodwaters are expected to rise to major levels on Monday morning and inundate places such as Windsor, Pitt Town, North Richmond, Freemans Reach and Colo.
Homes and communities are on edge as the east coast is battered by a one in 100-year rain event. Stay tuned to TODAY for Special Coverage of all the latest weather updates from your city. #9Today pic.twitter.com/Wb9XBWwE3P— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) March 21, 2021
The Hawkesbury is predicted to reach a peak of about 15 metres on Monday afternoon and the State Emergency Service says homes and properties will be flooded, some up to roof height.
The floods will cut off evacuation routes and cause lasting outages to utilities, the SES said as it urged evacuations.
"Extensive outages of water, electricity, sewerage, telecommunications and gas are expected to last many weeks or months," the SES said early on Monday.
The event is likely to exceed the capacity of emergency services, who have already responded to some 8000 calls for help, the SES said.
The Warragamba Dam has already spilled over, prompting some concern. Parts of Penrith and other areas along the Nepean were ordered to evacuate on Sunday as NSW battles devastating floods after days of unabated rain.
Scores of people have already been rescued from floodwaters, while prison inmates have been evacuated and more than 100 schools remain shut.