Rains 'breaking the back' of Aussie bush-fire crisis

Katie Ramirez
February 11, 2020

There was potential for heavy "rainfall and life-threatening flash-flooding", and coast erosion, although little danger of river flooding, as water levels have been low due to a persistent drought, the NSW Bureau of Meteorology said. The state had also suffered severe drought for the past two years.

This Weather Update provides information on widespread, heavy rain and flash flooding over eastern states.

"This wet and windy weather is really wreaking havoc on our roads today, with paramedics responding to five auto accidents every hour since Friday night", NSW Ambulance spokesman Giles Buchanan said on Sunday afternoon.

Residents near the Narrabeen Lagoon in northern Sydney have also been urged to leave, with flooding in that area likely to be worse than the damaging flood of 2016.

Flood conditions in New South Wales and parts of Queensland are expected to continue to this day.

While the rain has been welcome news for firefighters, it has created chaos elsewhere - causing flooding, power outages and property damage.

'It's wet out there!' the weather bureau said on Twitter, adding the heaviest rainfall was in Linden in western Sydney, which saw 112 millimetres of rain in the five hours to 2 pm (0300 GMT) Sunday.

The water authority in NSW state said it is monitoring water quality to assess whether extra measures are needed to control ash and sediment.

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Note that 31 fires are still burning in New South Wales, but they are not being considered risky.

Harmful wind gusts of as much as 150 kilometres per hour might develop in a single day Friday night time because the cyclone approaches the coast, and really damaging gusts of as much as 230 kilometres per hour had been anticipated when Cyclone Damien hits on Saturday, in accordance with the Bureau of Meteorology. They include the Gospers Mountain fire in the Hawkesbury, the Currowan fire in the Shoalhaven, the Green Wattle Creek fire in Wollondilly, the Myall Creek Road fire (Richmond Valley), the Erskine Creek fire (Blue Mountains), the Kerry Ridge fire (Muswellbrook) and the Morton fire (Wingecarribee).

Another positive is that the Warragamba Dam which supplies around 80 percent of Sydney's drinking water has risen from 43 percent capacity to 62 percent.

Nearly 400 millimetres (15.8 inches) of rain fell in the Sydney area and surrounding areas.

Australian wildfires that have killed at least 33 and destroyed more than 3,000 homes in an unprecedented fire season that began late in a record-dry 2019.

"This rainfall is just great to see and it is certainly going to bring an easing to some of these fire conditions".

"However, until 9am today we're still seeing rainfall but not as high".

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