Satellite imagery has shown just how bad the floods have become in Sydney, with some areas hit by the worst flooding in decades.
Startling images have surfaced showing the extent of the floods that have left dozens of Sydney suburbs under water.
In recent years, Sydney and the surrounding areas have experienced floods firsthand. But in some places, flooding from the East Coast Downs over the weekend was the worst in decades.
The NSW government has declared the flooding a natural disaster, allowing emergency funding to be made available to people in 23 affected local government areas.
In Windsor, on the city’s northwestern edge, the river rose just above the 13.8-meter mark due to floods in March, causing the worst flooding in 44 years.
weather news Meteorologist Rob Sharpe said most of the damage was in the Hawkesbury-Neping river system, which meanders around western and northern Sydney.
“Overall, this is the worst flood for the watershed, as other floods have been particularly severe, but only in one part of the river system.
“This event is consistently bad across the watershed, and in many areas is now worse than it has been in recent years.”
Satellite imagery of the floods
Images from the Finnish satellite company ICEYE provided to news.com.au clearly show how much water is breaking through the banks of the Hawkesbury and Nepean rivers. ICEYE satellites provide flood information and data to governments and insurance companies.
One image shows Windsor and Richmond under normal conditions, with the blue Hawkesbury River flowing and several small tributaries converging into the main river.
The second shows the dire situation of July 4th with large blue spots showing how far the water has spread. This clearly shows how many tributaries supplied a large amount of water to Hawkesbury by the two cities.
Richmond AFB, one of the RAF’s largest air bases, is a dry foothold in the rising water. The central part of the city is close to the base and did not get into the water, but pockets were flooded, as well as the countryside surrounding the village.
The new Windsor Bridge went under the rising river for the second time this year.
Parts of Windsor and Richmond, as well as nearby Cattai, Pitt Town and Wiseman’s Ferry, had to be evacuated.
The same was true in Camden in southwest Sydney. Hundreds of houses had to be abandoned as water continued to rise from the Nepean River, which surrounds the semi-rural suburb.
Satellite imagery illustrates the devastation caused by water rushing over the city, turning its center into a swampy peninsula. Several streets disappeared under muddy waters.
Flood threat moves north
In the flood zone, about 50,000 people were ordered to leave their homes.
The State Emergency Service (SSChS) received more than 500 requests for assistance.
Worst of wet weather has now weakened from Sydney and moved north, meaning that the threat of flooding has increased north of the city.
On Wednesday, the EMERCOM began issuing evacuation orders from the Central Coast and Hunter areas.
People in parts of Combo, Whittingham, Glenridding, Dunnolly, Taggera, Bajvoy and Wollomby lakes have been asked to leave their homes.
Forecasters say relief is on the way and the low is now dissipating. However, the sheer amount of water released into New South Wales’ river systems means that the flood cycle could take several days.
Originally published as Satellite imagery reveals extent of flood shock in Sydney