A flood evacuation order has been issued for people across low-lying parts of Sydney's south-west as wild weather, fuelled by an intense weather system on the NSW coast, continues to lash Sydney..
The State Emergency Service has directed residents in the following areas of Chipping Norton to evacuate: Rickard Road, Arthur Street, Riverside Drive between Arthur Street and Newbridge Road, Newbridge Road between Rickard Road and Governor Macquarie Drive and Davey Robinson Drive.
"Do not delay your evacuation. Roads will be congested or closed. You could become trapped and need rescue. Remaining in flooded areas is dangerous and may place your life at risk," the Flood Evacuation Order said.
"Wherever possible, people should go and stay with family or friends, or make other accommodation arrangements. For people who need assistance an Evacuation Centre has been set up by Community Services at Liverpool City Library, George Street Liverpool."
The SES also urged residents in parts of Milperra, Lansvale and Carramar to prepare to leave.
The warning was issued after readings indicated the Georges River could rise to dangerous levels on Sunday afternoon. Up to 200 millimetres of rain fell during the 24 hours to 7am.
The SES has advised residents of the affected suburbs to collect medicines, pack three days' of clothing, and try to turn off the power and gas before leaving homes.
Search for car in floodwaters
Authorities are searching floodwaters in Sydney's south-west for a car which has possibly been swept away.
A police spokeswoman said SES crew were in a boat scanning waters at Leppington, but it was yet to be confirmed whether a car was in the floodwaters.
It was unclear how many people may have been in the car.
NSW SES acting Commissioner Greg Newton has urged drivers to stay out of floodwaters.
"Entering floodwater not only places you in grave danger, it puts the lives of our volunteers in danger too," he said.
"We want to make this quite simple: stay out and stay alive. We can't make it any clearer."
About 500 people have been evacuated across NSW, including residents from the North Narrabeen Caravan Park and the nearby Sydney Academy of Sport and Recreation.
Police say students from the sports academy on the flood prone Wakehurst Parkway have been sent to the Narrabeen Surf Club due to fears Narrabeen Lake will flood.
Evacuation centres have been opened at the Cromer Community Centre and Pittwater RSL at Mona Vale.
But the biggest concern for authorities is the surf, with a 12-metre wave recorded at Botany Bay on Sunday.
Abnormally high tides are predicted all along the state's coast and five to seven-metre waves may cause erosion and sea water flooding of low lying areas.
The next high tide will be at 8.30pm on Sunday when water levels are expected to exceed the highest tide of the year.
The east coast low moved south over Newcastle and Sydney overnight, after damaging winds and flooding hit Queensland and northern NSW on Saturday.
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for destructive winds, heavy rainfall, abnormally high tides and damaging surf.
Weather forecast to improve on Monday
The weather is expected to improve on Monday with the bureau forecasting a medium chance of showers and winds of up to 35km/h.
The SES says its operations centre is being inundated with phone calls from residents all over the state requesting assistance.
It has received 5500 calls for emergency help and has performed 120 flood rescues, half of which involve stranded motorists.
The SES says most requests for assistance have been for sandbags, leaking roofs and trees and branches brought down by strong winds.
"We ask the public to please be patient as there are current delays in being answered," the SES said.
The SES Warringah/Pittwater Unit is offering sand and sandbags available for pick up at Narrabeen Beach Surf Club.
In Sydney's south a flood evacuation warning has been issued for low lying parts of Milperra, Chipping Norton, Picnic Point, East Hills, Carramar, Canley Vale and Lansvale. Evacuation centres have been set up at Liverpool, Cabramatta and Revesby.
A raft of public transport services have been cancelled and flash flooding is affecting roads throughout the metropolitan area.
'Avoid non-essential travel'
Rebecca Walsh, a spokeswoman from the Transport Management Centre said people should "avoid all non-essential travel".
"The best advice is to stay off the roads as it's very unpredictable out there," she said.
Ms Walsh said people who did have to travel should "drive to the conditions and allow plenty of extra travel time".
Weatherzone senior meteorologist Brett Dutschke warned high winds would continue throughout the day.
"We still have several more hours of intense weather to come," he said.
Up to 125mm of rainfall was recorded in the 12 hours to 10am in the Cooks River catchment upstream of Tempe Bridge and more heavy rain is forecast for the next six hours.
Residents near the river are advised to be on alert due to the severe conditions.
There is also a minor to moderate flood warning for the Nepean River, in Sydney's west with up to 285 millimetres of rain falling over the catchment in the 24 hours to 9am. A further 190 millimetres falling during the past six hours.
This rainfall is expected to cause moderate flooding in the Nepean River at Menangle, and minor flooding at Camden and Wallacia.
Further heavy rainfall, in the order of 100 to 150 millimetres, is forecast for the Nepean, Wollondilly and Hawkesbury River valleys in the next 12 hours.
Emergency crews are working to restore power after faults caused by the rain and wind and trees falling on powerlines.
Energy networks Ausgrid and Endeavour say more than 28,500 homes and businesses remain without power throughout Sydney and the Central Coast. There are power outages in Westleigh, Bass Hill, Yagoona, St Ives, Terrey Hills, Berowra Heights, Allambie Heights, Beacon Hill, Padstow, Punchbowl, Greenacre, Eastwood, Denistone, Brooklyn, Vaucluse, Bundeena, Zetland, Waterloo, Maroubra and Hillsdale.
The Bureau of Meteorology said large and powerful surf conditions were expected to be hazardous for coastal activities such as rock fishing, swimming and surfing. Beach conditions in these areas will be dangerous and people should stay well away from the surf and surf exposed areas, it said.
Nobbys Head recorded a 106km/h gust at 11.22pm on Saturday night while Fort Denison recorded a wind gust of 90km/h 20 minutes later. Norah Head recorded a 98km/h wind gust at 12.21 am and Kurnell recorded a 90km/h wind gust at 1.30am.
The SES advises:
Across the state, a compulsory flood evacuation order was issued to residents in North Lismore just after 10am on Sunday.
"These orders are put in place to protect life and are not issued lightly," the SES said in a statement.
On Sunday afternoon organisers of the Vivid Festival urged visitors to delay their trip. Light projections on the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Customs House, and at Central Park and Chatswood will be operating. However the majority of locations will not be switched on including Taronga Zoo, Martin Place, Darling Harbour, the Royal Botanic Garden and the majority of lighting installations around Circular Quay, The Rocks and Walsh Bay.
The Bjork Digital exhibition at Carriageworks, light projections at Central Park, indoor precincts The Galeries and Westfield Sydney, and the Vivid Ideas sessions and Vivid Music events will proceed as scheduled.
Destination NSW CEO and Vivid Sydney Executive Producer Sandra Chipchase said: "The festival will run through to Saturday 18 June so there's still around two more weeks to visit Vivid Sydney once the weather improves."
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