Sydney: Australia’s emergency services issued flood evacuation orders for neighborhoods in and outside Sydney on Sunday as river levels rose after days of heavy rain.
Officials reported 28 flood rescues in 24 hours in the eastern state of New South Wales, many of them for people trying to drive through flooded roads.
“It’s very dangerous on our roads and we’re seeing a lot of flash flooding and the rivers are obviously still rising,” NSW Emergency Services Commissioner Carlene York told a news conference.
A dozen flood evacuation orders have been issued in low-lying neighborhoods in Sydney’s northwest suburbs and other parts of New South Wales, emergency services said.
It also issued warnings for about 20 other at-risk areas of the state to prepare to evacuate or be prepared to isolate as rivers rise.
Rainfall has eased, but floodwaters are still pouring into swollen rivers both inland and central parts of the New South Wales coast, the state Bureau of Meteorology said.
The city of Sydney has already registered its wettest year since records began in 1858.
The March flood disaster on Australia’s east coast – caused by powerful storms that devastated parts of Queensland and New South Wales – claimed more than 20 lives.
Tens of thousands of Sydney residents were ordered to evacuate in July when outlying suburbs were hit by floods again.