It's been a horror start to Sunday for many Hawkesbury families as they are forced to leave their homes for higher ground in the wake of rising flood waters.
The NSW State SES issued the first of the flood evacuation orders at 1.50am this morning for the following areas:
- Gronos Point - all properties south of Grono Farm Road;
- Pitt Town Bottoms - all properties bounded by Hawkesbury River, Bardenarang Gully, Pitt Town Lagoon, McKenzies Creek and South Creek;
- Cornwallis - covering the area on the Hawkesbury River is bounded by Kurrajong Road, the back of Francis Street, the back of Dight Street, Percival Street and Rickabys Creek. Includes Bensons Lane; Cornwallis Road; Cornwells Lane; Cupritts Lane; Gow Lane; Ingolds Lane; Old Kurrajong Road; Onus Lane; Percival Street; Powells Lane; Ridges Lane; and Triangle Lane;
- Pitt Town North - all properties within the area of the Hall Point area, bounded by the Hawkesbury River and Paul Street. Includes Hall Street north of Paul Street; and Paul Street; and
- Low laying areas of North Richmond - all properties along Terrace Road from Redbank Creed to Thornham Park and Glamis Park.
In each case, residents were urged to move to higher land, taking with them their pets, warm clothes, essential items, medicines, insurance documents, drinking water and valuables.
Richmond Club and North Richmond Community Centre opened their doors to serve as evacuation centers.
At 3.30am a flood evaculation order was issued for those in low lying areas of Freemans Reach. The residents were told to leave their properties no later than 9am.
This relates to all properties within the area of Freemans Reach bounded by Putty Road Road (from Currency Creek to Kurmond Road), Kurmond Road (including Vollers Land and Martins Lane), Terrace Road, the Hawkesbury River, Wire Line, Spinks Road, Currency Creek, Boundary Road, Howes Creek up to where it meets Currency Creek near Sackville, and back down Currency Creek.
At 6am residents in the low lying areas at northern end of Agnes Banks were told they should leave their properties by midday. This pertains to all properties within the area along the Hawkesbury River that contains Yarramundi Lane, Crowleys Lane and Inalls Lane.
The SES suggest the Hawkesbury River could rise to 12m at North Richmond (WPS) by noon today, causing major flooding. The level may rise with rain forecast for the rest of the day and coming days.
The North Richmond Bridge closed to traffic last night.
At Windsor (WPS) the river was expected to reach around 10m by 8am, with the threat level still deemed moderate.
For information, residents are advised to keep tabs on the Bureau of Meteorology website.
For the latest flood and weather warnings see www.bom.gov.au/nsw/warnings/
For the latest rainfall and weather forecasts see www.bom.gov.au/australia/meteye/
For the latest rainfall and river level information see www.bom.gov.au/nsw/flood
For more information on the Flood Watch Service: http://www.bom.gov.au/.../floods/floodWarningServices.shtml
FloodSafe advice is available at www.ses.nsw.gov.au
For emergency assistance call the SES on telephone number 132 500.
For life threatening emergencies, call 000 immediately.