News, weather warning

Motorists urged not to drive through flood water during Illawarra deluge

road closed flooding copy

POLICE and emergency services are urging the community not to take risks in the drenching being experienced in the Illawarra.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued severe weather warnings including heavy rainfall, damaging winds, abnormally high tides, and damaging surf for the Illawarra. There is also potential for periods of torrential rainfall and life-threatening flash-flooding. Further, Flood Watch and Flood Warnings have also been issued for Wollongong.

Deputy State Emergency Operations Controller, Assistant Commissioner Karen Webb, said emergency services are continuing to assist people impacted by recent and current weather.

“During severe weather events, NSW Police are poised to assist the State Emergency Service, and we are currently working with them to minimise the impact of the storms on the community,” Assistant Commissioner Webb said.

“There are currently hundreds of calls for assistance, including trees, boulders or power poles down onto cars and homes, and across roads, as well as power outages and localised flooding impacting various roads and traffic lights.”

Assistant Commissioner Webb added that police have also responded to or been made aware of incidents resulting from people taking unnecessary risks or displaying dangerous behaviour.

“I’m disappointed that I need to remind people to act responsibly and not to take risks in these types of conditions, especially when around floodwaters,” Assistant Commissioner Webb said.

Police have responded to assist dozens of motorists who’ve become trapped after driving their vehicles into flood waters.

“If you’re out and about today, please take extra care and slow down to ensure you arrive at your destination safely,” Assistant Commissioner Webb said.

Visit www.livetraffic.com for the latest information on road closures, traffic diversions and potential delays.

NSW SES is also advising they are currently experiencing a high volume of calls for assistance and urge residents to prepare their homes for storm events by:

  • bMove vehicles under cover or away from trees.
  • Secure or put away loose items around your house, yard and balcony.
  • Keep at least 8 metres away from fallen power lines or objects that may be energised, such as fences.
  • Trees that have been damaged by fire are likely to be more unstable and more likely to fall.
  • Report fallen power lines to either Ausgrid (131 388), Endeavour Energy (131 003), Essential Energy (132 080) or Evoenergy (131 093) as shown on your power bill.
  • Don’t drive, ride or walk through flood water.
  • Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.
  • If you are trapped by flash flooding, seek refuge in the highest available place.
  • Be aware that run-off from rainfall in fire affected areas may behave differently and be more rapid. It may also contain debris such as ash, soil, trees and rocks.
  • After bushfires, heavy rain and the loss of foliage can make the ground soft and heavy, leading to a greater chance of landslides.
  • Stay vigilant and monitor conditions. Note that the landscape may have changed following bushfires.

For assistance in floods and storms, contact the local SES Unit on 132 500.

In the event of an emergency or a life-threatening incident, always call Triple Zero (000).

More information about staying safe in extreme weather events is available at: https://www.ses.nsw.gov.au.


 

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About Mick Roberts

A Sydney journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.

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