SYDNEY: Australian authorities today warned (Oct 25) that flood-affected areas in the country’s southeast were set for more rain, as emergency services issued a fresh batch of evacuation orders.
Authorities overnight told hundreds of residents to evacuate from the New South Wales (NSW) town of Narrabri, home to 12,000 and about 550km northwest of Sydney, as water released from a full dam nearby worsened flooding.
In nearby Gunnedah, residents endured the fifth flood in 12 months, with television footage showing people evacuating homes through waist-deep flood waters carrying pets and personal belongings.
A video online showed one resident paddling a kayak through inundated streets and straight into a flooded garage.
“Clearly the flood risk and the threat remains across NSW today and will do so for some days to come. The rivers are very, very full and of course our dams are mostly at full capacity at present,” Steph Cooke, NSW emergency services minister, said on Tuesday. “Even the smallest amount of rain falling can cause an elevated risk of flash flooding and riverine flooding.”
A freight train crashed overnight near Naradhan, about 600km west of Sydney, with two crew members rescued uninjured after rail tracks came loose because of heavy rain, local media reported.
The Bureau of Meteorology expects 50mm of rain across swathes of the southeast on Wednesday and Thursday, with 100mm or more possible on parts of the mainland and most of the island state of Tasmania.
Fresh rain over waterlogged catchments means dozens of waterways in New South Wales and Victoria are at risk of flooding, with 209 flood warnings in place across the two most populous states, with the bulk of evacuations taking place in NSW.
Flooding is also expected on several river systems in the adjacent states of Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania.