Dams near Sydney spill over as more storms bring new dangers

Residents on the banks of the swollen Georges River in Sydney waiting for water to recede on Monday. Yesterday, Nepean Dam south of Sydney was at full capacity and spilling over, with video footage showing excess water cascading over the dam wall and
Residents on the banks of the swollen Georges River in Sydney waiting for water to recede on Monday. Yesterday, 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.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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

Recent downpours have brought relief to areas ravaged by bush fires and drought - as well as chaos and destruction to towns and cities along the eastern seaboard.

Yesterday, 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, Tallowa and Brogo, were also overflowing, and more dams could reach capacity in the coming days, a WaterNSW spokesman said.

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

A devastating months-long bush fire crisis that killed 33 people has largely been put out by the rain, with just one blaze yet to be brought under control in New South Wales.

Hundreds of people have been rescued from flood waters in recent days. The police said a man's body was discovered in a flooded river in Queensland's Sunshine Coast yesterday, though the cause of his death was not immediately clear.

Wild weather is set to ramp up again from today, with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting that extra-tropical cyclone Uesi would bring damaging to destructive winds and heavy rainfall to remote tourist destination Lord Howe Island.

Senior meteorologist Grace Legge said that storms were also expected in Queensland and New South Wales, with areas still recovering from bush fires 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.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 14, 2020, with the headline 'Dams near Sydney spill over as more storms bring new dangers'. Print Edition | Subscribe