Sydney hit by flash floods as 1 month’s rain falls in space of 2 hours

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New South Wales in Australia has been hit by torrential rain – with more than one month’s worth of rain falling in the space of two hours across Sydney.

Sydney has had its wettest November day in 34 years – by 7am yesterday 84.6mm had fallen in the city – average rainfall for the whole of November is 83.8mm.

The Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales (BoM) had warned that heavy rain and possible flooding were set to strike eastern parts of New South Wales from Wednesday, as an intense low pressure system developed off the NSW central coast, coupled with 90km/h winds. The BoM warnings for NSW included severe thunderstorm, severe weather warnings for heavy rain, damaging winds, hail and hazardous surf.

The widespread heavy rainfall has affected areas including Sydney, the Illawarra and Blue Mountains.

Three people have now died after what has been described as “the worst storm to hit Sydney in decades.”

Flights at Sydney Airport were cancelled or delayed – at one point just one runway was able to open. Motorists have also been stranded on flooded roads and railway lines have been closed.

A lightning map of Australia showed thousands of strikes across NSW and southern Queensland, while  Sydney rivers including the Hawkesbury, Nepean, Cooks and Georges were all placed on flood watch.The flood watch covered New South Wales coastal rivers between the Central Coast and St Georges Basin -this morning the Bureau of Meteorology has issued its final flood watch for the coastal rivers.

The low pressure system is expected to continue to move off the New South Wales coast and heavy rain is no longer expected.

However, the Bureau said it is continuing to monitor the situation and will issue further catchment specific warnings if and when required.