Deniliquin evacuates ahead of major flooding with severe weather warnings across NSW | Australia weather


A severe weather warning has been issued for much of New South Wales as another evacuation was ordered in a flood-affected Riverina town.

The State Emergency Services asked people in Deniliquin to leave their homes by Wednesday.

Adding to the town’s woes, damaging westerly winds are expected on Monday and could reach up to 90km/h.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe weather warning for much of the state’s south, including Sydney and the Illawarra, Riverina, Snowy Mountains and ACT regions.

Damaging westerly winds averaging 50km/h to 70km/h with peak gusts in excess of 90km/h are likely across elevated parts and also eastwards to the coast and across the Goulburn region.

For the remainder of the warning area, including Sydney’s metropolitan area and Canberra, damaging gusts in excess of 90km/h are possible.

Showers or thunderstorms are also predicted across the Riverina and south-west slopes.

In the 24 hours to Monday morning, the SES received 617 calls for help and conducted three flood rescues.

There are 102 warnings in place in the state, 16 of which are at emergency level.

The SES said it was focused on Forbes, Condobolin, Euabalong, Eugowra, Walgett, Bourke, Hay, Albury, Echuca, Mildura, Wentworth, Deniliquin, Wee Waa and Moulamein.

Many of the calls for help on the weekend were in response to damage caused by high winds, including roofs flying off, and fallen trees and powerlines.

Bom meteorologist Jonathan How said the cold and windy conditions were unusual late in spring and warned people to listen to warnings and stay away from trees.

“With the winds, because everything is so wet, we are expecting to see trees and even powerlines topple more easily today,” he told ABC TV on Monday.

“The winds will continue into tonight and possibly even into tomorrow morning as well. By tomorrow, we should see some of the strongest winds start to ease off.”

The flood risk remains in central western towns but no significant rain was expected in saturated catchments this week.

In Forbes moderate flooding continues but the real concern this week is downstream at Condobolin, where the Lachlan River is expected to peak on Wednesday.

The NSW emergency services minister, Steph Cooke, said nine recovery assistance points were opening this week to support communities.

The multi-agency hubs are designed to help flood-affected individuals, families, farmers and business owners begin the clean-up, rebuilding and recovery process.

“We need the flood waters to recede to understand the full extent of the damage, but it’s already clear that hundreds if not thousands of properties have been impacted by flooding across regional, rural and remote NSW,” Cooke said on Monday.

“As we transition from the emergency response into the recovery phase, it can be difficult for people to know where to start. These assistance points serve as a first port of call for people beginning their flood recovery journey.”

Staff will help people replace damaged documents, get help with the clean-up or access emergency accommodation or mental health services.

The nine recovery assistance points operating this week include Eugowra, Orange, Parkes, Gunnedah, Cudal, Wagga Wagga, Narrabri and Moree.

Lawyers are also joining efforts to give residents a helping hand with at least 10 law firms in the central west providing pro-bono flood recovery support.

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