Record-breaking rains continue to lash Sydney, no respite ahead

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After picking up 95.4mm of rain during the 24 hours to 9am on Tuesday, Sydney is now having its wettest start to a year on record.

Sydney and New South Wales are facing days more of heavy rain and damaging winds as floods see thousands evacuated from their homes. The SES has issued evacuation orders covering parts of 13 suburbs across the city.
Dean Narramore from the Bureau of Meteorology warned there was more to come, with “minor to major flooding” taking place from the Queensland border to the Victorian border.

Police say the bodies of a man and a woman have been found in floodwaters in the western Sydney suburb of Wentworthville. Police divers are on the scene, the identities of the two people have not yet been confirmed.

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He said the rain was likely to ease in Sydney later this afternoon and move south into the Illawarra region.

Mr Narramore said the coming hours and days would see the centre of the rain event shift.
“Our focus tonight will shift not only to the increasing river levels and the major flooding but also damaging winds likely to develop, particularly around the Illawarra escarpment, Sydney metropolitan area,” he said.

Commissioner York has made a stark declaration about the flood crisis unfolding in Sydney, as she conceded some people would likely refuse to evacuate their homes.

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“There is no past history similar to this event,” she said. “We’re coming out of La Nina, the ground is saturated, the forecast can never tell us exactly where the water is going to fall.

“I would remind people to listen to our orders and warnings because your property may be affected even though it hasn’t been affected before. Again, we’re looking at, regretfully, record-breaking rains.”