May 28, 2024

Sydney’s Warragamba dam began spilling over for the second time in a month on Sunday after heavy downpours across New South Wales.

WaterNSW has confirmed the dam began spilling at 7.30am after widespread rain across the city’s catchments.

The water reservoir last spilled after heavy rain on 6 April, causing catastrophic damage to some homes nearby.

The State Emergency Service issued minor flood warnings for the Hawkesbury River at North Richmond and the Colo River but did not expect any significant impact to properties in the area.

“There will possibly be low-lying flooding over roads but we’re not expecting major impacts like there was the last spill,” an SES spokesperson said.

Over the 24 hours to 9am on Sunday, Sydney recorded rainfall totals in excess of 30mm at Campbelltown (35.4mm) and Observatory Hill (31.2mm).

Heavy rain and significant runoff led to a 10-metre wide sinkhole opening up in a residential street at Dover Heights in Sydney’s east on Saturday night.

“We were on scene until 1 o’clock this morning, using sandbags and a retaining wall to divert water away from properties,” said the SES Waverley-Woollahra deputy unit commander, Anthia Kollaras.

“The hole was quite big, and part of the road had washed away. There was about a metre drop, and a lot of debris that was washing past a house, so it was important we prevented water ingress of nearby homes.”

It was one of 273 callouts for SES volunteers across the state in the 24 hours to 8am on Sunday, with most involving leaking roofs, fallen trees and sandbagging.

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The south coast and Illawarra regions have been hardest hit by the wet weather, with 117.6mm of rain falling at Moruya airport in the 24 hours to 9am.

A severe weather warning remains active for heavy rainfall across parts of the Illawarra, south coast, southern tablelands and Snowy Mountains.

The Bureau of Meteorology forecast some communities were likely to receive 90mm to 110mm of rain over 24 hours, possibly rising up to 140mm over the ranges.

Nowra, Batemans Bay, Moruya Heads, Ulladulla, Narooma and Araluen are all expected to experience heavy downfalls.

The bureau warned that continuing rain on already-wet ground could lead to flash flooding. Conditions are expected to ease from Sunday evening into Monday.

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