Fri, Feb 14, 2020 - Page 6 News List

Australia braces for more flooding as dams overflow


Dams near Sydney yesterday overflowed after days of torrential rain, as Australia braced for more storms expected to bring dangerous flash flooding to the country’s east.

Downpours have brought relief to areas ravaged by bushfires and drought — as well as chaos and destruction to towns and cities along the eastern seaboard.

The Nepean Dam south of Sydney was at full capacity and spilling over, with video footage showing excess water cascading over the dam wall and downstream.

Two other dams in New South Wales (NSW) — Tallowa and Brogo — were also overflowing and more dams could reach capacity in the coming days, a WaterNSW spokesman told reporters.

Sydney’s dams have seen water levels spike dramatically — the Nepean was just one-third full less than a week ago — although many inland areas facing severe water shortages missed out on the flows.

A devastating months-long bushfire crisis that killed 33 people has effectively been ended by the downpours, with all of the fires in New South Wales out or “controlled.”

Hundreds of people have been rescued from floodwaters in the past few days.

Police said that a man’s body was yesterday discovered in a flooded river on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, although the cause of his death was not immediately clear.

Wild weather is set to ramp up again from today, with the Australian Bureau of Meteorology forecasting that former Tropical Cyclone Uesi would bring “damaging to destructive winds” and heavy rainfall to the remote tourist destination of Lord Howe Island.

Senior meteorologist Grace Legge said that storms were also expected for Queensland and New South Wales — with areas still recovering from bushfires likely to be hit again.

“Any showers and thunderstorms that do develop are falling on already saturated catchments, so there is a risk with severe thunderstorms of flash flooding,” she said.

Emergency services have warned residents in affected areas to be cautious in the dangerous conditions.

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