The New South Wales State Emergency Service is urging residents across Sydney, the Illawarra and South Coast to prepare now for heavy rain and potential flooding as a coastal trough off the NSW coast continues to move south tonight and throughout Sunday.
The NSW SES has received more than 2600 calls for help across the state since midnight Wednesday. NSW SES volunteers are continuing to assist residents impacted by the severe weather, including responding to 20 flood rescues so far, mostly for motorists who have driven into floodwaters.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has issued a Minor Flood Warning for the Cooks River, Orara River and Tuggerah Lake. A Minor to Moderate Flood Warning has been issued for the Hawkesbury and Nepean Rivers, with flooding expected on Saturday night and Sunday morning.
NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York is urging residents in low lying areas to plan ahead.
"Now is the time to plan how you will protect your family and property from flood. If you live in a rural area, now is the time to move your stock and equipment to higher ground," said Commissioner York.
"NSW SES volunteers are proactively doorknocking low-lying areas in various parts of Sydney to alert residents of the potential of localised flooding. As the Hawkesbury River continues to rise, ferries at Sackville, Lower Portland and Webbs Creek may be closed. Bridges at Yarramundi, North Richmond and Windsor may be impacted over the next 24 hours. Plan ahead and adjust your travel plans for the coming days."
The NSW SES is urging road users to exercise caution as the torrential rainfall continues into the weekend.
"Never drive, ride or walk through floodwaters. It's too dangerous - and you never know how deep the floodwaters are, the condition of the road or how fast the water is flowing.
"Please keep clear of drains, creeks and causeways and if you are in a flood-prone area avoid parking vehicles in low-lying areas," Commissioner York said.
For emergency help in floods and storms, call the NSW SES on 132 500, or if life-threatening call Triple-Zero.