Authorities in Australia’s east braced for major flooding on Thursday, as Sydney’s wettest year in 164 years. More heavy rain is expected to fall over the following three days.
For the first time since records began in 1858, Australia’s largest city has received 2,200 mm of rain in a year, and there are still more than three months remaining in 2022.
By Thursday afternoon, Sydney had received around 2,213 mm (87 inches) of rain, exceeding the previous record of 2,194 mm set in 1950.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology’s (BoM) live data, more than 58 mm of rain fell in the previous five hours since 9 a.m. local time (2200 GMT, Wednesday).
Further downpours are anticipated for the duration of 2022 as Australia’s east coast continues to suffer the unprecedented La Nina weather trend for the third consecutive year.
According to BoM forecaster Jonathan How on ABC television, we’re still in an active La Nina period as we go into late spring and summer, so we can expect more rainfall, which raises the possibility of flooding.
Flooding has hit Sydney’s suburbs three times in the last two years, displacing tens of thousands of people each time.
Authorities in Sydney warned residents to be on the alert for flash floods and to avoid driving on flooded roads as a severe weather system was expected to dump heavy rains over a vast stretch of Australia’s east over the weekend.
Many dams and rivers have already surpassed their capacity. To assist prevent future floods, the state of New South Wales has committed to raising the wall at Sydney’s Warragamba Dam, which supplies 80% of the city’s water.
More Water On The Way
Damaged roads and inhabitants transporting farm animals to higher ground were shown in television footage from some of the state’s tiny rural communities that had already flooded.
New South Wales emergency services reported 47 flood warnings in force throughout the state, with moderate flooding expected in some districts of Sydney on Saturday.
Scott McLennan, a spokesperson for emergency services, anticipated that the situation will only worsen in the following weeks.
“Is this my worst? We don’t know, but we do know that more water is on its way.” The ABC was alerted, according to McLennan.