Australia's greatest city is facing its fourth, probably worst, a round of flooding in less than a year. On Monday, more than 30,000 people of Sydney and its environs were urged to evacuate or prepare to abandon their homes.
Days of torrential rainfall led dams to overflow and waterways to overrun their banks, bringing a new flood emergency to portions of the five million-person city.
"According to the most recent information we have, there is a very good chance that the flooding will be worse than any of the three floods that these areas have experienced in the past 18 months," said Emergency Management Minister Murray Watt.
Watt noted that the current flooding might affect places spared by the earlier storms in March of last year, March of this year, and April.
Premier of New South Wales, Dominic Perrottet, stated that 32,000 individuals were affected by evacuation orders and advisories.
Perrottet stated, "It's likely that this number will increase over the course of the week."
The emergency services performed multiple flood rescues on Sunday and early Monday while receiving hundreds of other cries for assistance.
Jane Golding, manager of Australia's Bureau of Meteorology, stated that certain regions between Newcastle, north of Sydney, and Wollongong, south of Sydney, had received more than one meter (39 inches) of precipitation in the previous 24 hours. Some locations have received almost 1.5 meters (59 inches).
These totals are close to the average annual precipitation for coastal New South Wales.
"The system that has been causing this weather shows signs of weakening by tomorrow, but expect more rain today," Golding added.
She indicated that rain was anticipated for the entire week along the New South Wales coast, including Sydney.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology, Monday could see up to 12 centimeters (4.7 inches) of rain in Sydney.
The largest risk of flooding was near the Hawkesbury River in northwest Sydney and the Nepean River in western Sydney.
Monday afternoon, the bureau reported significant flooding in the Nepean communities of Menangle and Wallacia on Sydney's southwest border.
In addition, significant flooding occurred on the Hawkesbury in North Richmond in Sydney's northwest. According to a bureau statement, Windsor and Lower Portland were forecast to be inundated on Monday afternoon, and Wisemans Ferry on Tuesday.
Carlene York, the state's emergency services commissioner, stated that high winds had blown down trees, damaged roofs, and blocked roadways. She recommended avoiding unnecessary travel.
After leaving Wollongong on Monday morning, a cargo ship with 21 crew members lost power off the coast of New South Wales. It was anchored close to the beach, and tugboats prepared to tow it into the safer, open sea.
John Finch, a port official, told reporters that the ship possesses engineers capable of repairing the engine. "Unfortunately, we are currently experiencing some terrible weather," he stated, describing 8-meter (26-foot) surf and 30-knot winds (34 mph).
A previous plan to transport the ship's crew to safety was abandoned due to poor weather conditions.
On Sunday night, the Nepean River flooded houses and businesses in a riverfront hamlet southwest of Sydney, according to the mayor of the Camden municipality, Theresa Fedeli. Fedeli noted that the repeated flooding was hurting the residents of the region.
"It's devastating. They keep screaming 'devastating, not again,"' Fedeli added.
"I just keep repeating, 'We have to be strong, we'll get through this'" "However, you must realize that it's really hitting home for many people," she added.
The most populous state in Australia, according to Perrottet, must adjust to the increasing frequency of catastrophic flooding.
"It's undeniable that these occurrences are getting more frequent, given what we see in Sydney. Perrottet stated that governments must adapt and ensure that we respond to the changing situation we find ourselves in.