Sydney storm: Floods force thousands of people from homes in Narrabeen Lagoon

Thousands of Sydney residents were forced to flee their homes after rapid rising water triggered major evacuations in parts of the city.

Thousands of Sydney residents were forced to flee their homes after Tuesday’s downpour, and many spent the night with family and friends.

Heavy rains continued to fall on Hunter, Central Coast, Sydney, Illawarra and the South Coast until Tuesday evening.

A low east coast was sloped to form off the hunter’s coast and increase in intensity as it slowly moved south during the night.

Residents and businesses near the Narrabeen Lagoon were told to evacuate before 7pm to escape the rising waters.

“Once the flood reaches two meters in the Narrabeen lagoon, the area will be isolated,” the SES said.

“If you stay in the area after 7pm … you may be trapped without electricity, water and other essential services and it may be too dangerous to save yourself.”

Evacuation centers have been established to help those with nowhere else to go, including Mona Vale and Freshwater Surf Club on North Beaches and Penrith RSL in Western Sydney.

A number of key roads linking the north of the city were closed at 8:30 pm, including Pittwater Road in North Manly and Wakehurst Parkway between Narrabeen and Oxford Falls.

Further north, the SES ordered residents along the Hunter River within Glenridding Dunolly and Combo to evacuate “high danger areas”.

“Once the flood water has passed 12,80 meters on the Singleton gauge in Glenridding, the roads to Dunolly and Combo will begin to close,” the SES said.

Emerging Hawkesbury has also threatened homes in McGraths Hill and Mulgrave, with the SES saying that “once the flood reaches 13.5 meters in Windsor, the area will be isolated.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been preparing to visit flood-affected cities in northern rivers, with angry residents expected to vent their frustration.

“We are designing a front jersey!” Said Laurie, a resident of Lismore. “We are ready to queue, so he can’t shake hands.”

Many in the region say they were left to fend for themselves during the disaster, describing the government’s response as grossly inadequate.

The trip could echo Morrison’s visit to Cobargo during the 2019-20 bushfires, when he was forced to abandon meeting with local volunteers after suffering a backlash.

Both Prime Minister and NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said they were preparing to do more for flood victims, including unlocking more disaster funds and increasing support efforts.

Perrottet announced Tuesday that more ADF troops would be deployed to the northern rivers, along with “recovery centers” and additional NSW mobile service centers.

“I have spent the last few days and in many areas of the northern rivers on the northeastern coast of our state, and have witnessed firsthand the devastation that has occurred in many of these communities,” said Perrottet.

“We will do everything we can at the state government level to get all those communities back on their feet as quickly as possible.

“These recovery centers will allow you to go to these places, talk to someone face to face and you will be able to get advice on … how to have a roof over your head.”

Originally published as evacuated residents spend the night with family and friends as rain beats Sydney