Flood threats move north as emergencies in the Sydney area ease


In this photo, provided by State Emergency Services, Surf Life Saver Lee Archer is carrying a baby when a child and mother are rescued from a flood in Barga, Australia on Wednesday, July 6, 2022. (State emergency service via AP)

Sydney — Floods receded in Sydney and its surroundings on Thursday as heavy rains threatened a town north of Australia’s largest city.

By Thursday, 60,000 people were given evacuation orders and official warnings to prepare to abandon their homes, down from 85,000 on Wednesday, according to New South Wales Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet.

However, towns north of Sydney, including Maitland and Singleton in the Hunter Valley, were still threatened by flooding, Perotet said.

He said about 50 rescues have been made in the last 24 hours, some of which involved people left behind in cars by the floods.

Australian flood
A boat patrols the Hunter River near Hinton, Australia on July 6, 2022. (State emergency service via AP)

Paramedics Minister Steph Cook said the record rains that began around Sydney last Friday have eased.

“It’s very nice to see the weather conditions begin to ease after almost a week of constant rain,” she said.

The meteorological system that caused heavy rainfall over the vast areas of New South Wales was moving further from the north coast of Sydney to the ocean, said Diana Edie, director of the Meteorological Department.

Barga, a town about 180 kilometers (110 miles) north of Sydney by road, has experienced the highest flood levels since 1952, she said.

About 320 kilometers (200 miles) north of Sydney by road, Tally was wet with 305 millimeters (12 inches) of rain overnight. This is almost one-third of the town’s average annual rainfall, Eddie said.

Associated Press