/ 23 March 2021

Rain and more rain

THE SQUIZ
The damage bill already exceeds $2 billion, and a catastrophe has been declared, but more rain is on the way for NSW and almost every other state and territory today. More than 18,000 people have been evacuated from their homes (with 15,000 of them on the Mid North Coast) as 34 local government areas were declared disaster zones. The extensive damage already inflicted on property could see the bill top the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires, pundits say.

SO WHERE ARE THINGS AT?
• The Mid North Coast of NSW continues to be the worst affected as it endured the worst flooding conditions since 1929. Kempsey is currently split in two by the floodwaters, and there is no access to the city centre (not that it’s stopped a newlywed couple from celebrating marital bliss…).

• Conditions eased in Western Sydney yesterday, but Weather Bureau forecaster Helen Kirkup said Windsor is “yet to have their peak”. Warragamba Dam, the city’s water catchment, continues to overflow, releasing the equivalent of the contents of Sydney Harbour a day. And tensions over its management are rising as quickly as the water levels…

• And in southeast Queensland, things have also eased there too after emergency services responded to 500 calls for assistance since Sunday. The Gold Coast Hinterland has been the hardest hit, and flood warnings remain in place.

ARE WE THERE YET?
No, and that’s the result of 3 weather systems crashing together. NSW continues to be on high alert with more of the wet stuff expected along the entirety of the coast and inland across the northwest of the state today. After today, things should get better. Western Queensland is in for a drop, and Victoria and Tassie can also expect to get in on the precipitation action as we head into Wednesday. As for Sydney, the rain won’t be as heavy as it has been, but expect some more of it today.

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