Sydney floods: what is the weather in Australia, which areas is 2022 flooding affecting - and forecast

Torrential rain has led to dams overflowing and rivers bursting their banks

Hundreds of homes have been submerged in and around Sydney as a result of a flood emergency that has affected 50,000 people.

Days of heavy rain have caused dams and rivers to overflow, causing the city of 5 million people to experience its fourth flood emergency in 16 months.

According to State Emergency Service manager Ashley Sullivan, emergency response teams in Australia’s largest city have performed 100 rescues of people trapped in cars on flooded roads or in flooded homes over the course of one night.

Here is everything you need to know about it.

What is happening?

The state of New South Wales has declared a disaster affecting 23 local government areas, triggering financial aid from the federal government for flood victims.

According to Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Jonathan How, parts of southern Sydney received more than 20 centimetres (almost eight inches) of rain in a single day, which is more than 17% of the city’s annual average.

50,000 people are affected by evacuation orders and warnings to get ready to leave their homes, up from 32,000 on Monday (4 July), according to Dominic Perrottet, the premier of New South Wales.

“This event is far from over. Please don’t be complacent, wherever you are. Please be careful when you’re driving on our roads. There is still substantial risk for flash flooding across our state,” Perrottet said.

Which areas are affected?

. Thousands of residents were forced to leave their homes overnight and a number of evacuation orders are in place across Sydney as heavy rain and flooding continues (Photo Jenny Evans/Getty Images)

On Tuesday (5 July), severe weather warnings for torrential rain were still in effect throughout Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

The warnings also covered the Hunter Valley and the coastline to the north of Sydney.

The Hawkesbury-Nepean river system along Sydney’s northern and western edges experienced the heaviest flooding.

“The good news is that by tomorrow afternoon, it is looking to be mostly dry but, of course, we are reminding people that these floodwaters will remain very high well after the rain has stopped,” How said.

“There was plenty of rainfall overnight and that is actually seeing some rivers peak for a second time. So you’ve got to take many days, if not a week, to start to see these floodwaters start to recede.”

Has anybody died?

So far, there have been no reported deaths as a result of the Sydney floods.

But plans to pull a stranded cargo ship with 21 crew members onboard to the safety of the open sea have been foiled by wild weather and towering seas off the coast of New South Wales.

After departing port in Wollongong, south of Sydney, on Monday (4 July) morning, the ship lost power and ran the risk of being grounded by eight-metre (26-foot) surges as well as winds blowing at 30 knots (34 mph).

A towline broke in an 11-metre (36-foot) swell late on Monday, ending an attempt to tow the ship into open water, according to Philip Holliday, chief executive of the Port Authority.

With the assistance of two tugboats and two anchors, the ship was able to maintain its position on Tuesday farther away from the coast than it had the previous day.

A revised strategy, according to Holliday, was to tow the ship to Sydney once the weather and sea conditions improved, maybe as soon as Wednesday.

The ship’s crew was supposed to fix the engine while at sea, according to the original plan.