Manly Dam Flood: After Manly Dam threatened to overflow on Tuesday due to heavy rain and thunderstorms, thousands of people of Sydney residents were urged to prepare to evacuate.
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The dam in Sydney’s north received a red level alert, prompting an evacuation order for 800 households in the low-lying districts below. After a dip in water levels, the warning was downgraded to amber an hour later, and residents in the area were advised to prepare to evacuate.
“The rain and thunderstorms aren’t over yet,” said Carlene York of the SES. “There’s a potential that [the dam] will go over that area today, and we’ll have to revert to the evacuation order.”
According to the Bureau of Meteorology, between 50 and 100mm of rain had been reported in the northern suburbs, pushing up towards the Central Coast, since 9 a.m. (BOM).
A flood warning has been issued for homes and businesses near Narrabeen Lagoon, with residents having asked to evacuate through Pittwater Road by 7 p.m. (Manly Dam Flood)
With the city’s heavy rain forecast to continue, here’s everything that you need to know about Sydney’s dam system and what you can do to prepare.
Manly Dam Flood: What happened?
Unlike the massive Warragamba Dam, which supplies the majority of Sydney’s water, Manly Dam and its surrounding bush are now mostly used for recreational purposes, including swimming, water skiing, kayaking, and bushwalking.
The dam, which is close to Manly Vale and Allambie Heights, was erected in 1892 to supply water to Manly and the adjacent regions, and it has been extended several times as the area’s consumption is high. Due to fast population development, its use as a source of water was gradually phased out by 1929.
It’s now on the National Register of Historic Places as an example of dam construction in the nineteenth century.
It began to fill up on Tuesday as a result of the constant thunderstorms and heavy rain. An evacuation order was issued after the NSW SES got information that the dam had reached a red level. However, while the information was validated, SES spokesperson Greg Nash claims that “the data was not truly quite as high as anticipated.”
The current amber level indicates that the SES is still monitoring the water inflow into the dam. “If it reaches a point where it satisfies the criterion where it’s going to overtop,” Nash adds, “we’ll provide an appropriate notice.”
When there is simply too much water behind the dam, it goes all the way over, and there’s a lot of flow downstream,” Nash adds, “overtopping” refers to a circumstance where the entire dam starts to go over.
Commissioner York told the Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday that the dam wall was not in risk of collapsing.
What about the remaining dams in Sydney?
WaterNSW is responsible for the management of 21 storage dams in Greater Sydney, 11 of which are large. (Manly Dam Flood)
According to WaterNSW, all but two of Sydney’s major dams have reached full capacity, with Prospect Dam in the city’s west and the Blue Mountains Dams at 97.4% and 99.9% full, respectively.
Sydney’s largest dams capacity
Warragamba Dam is 100 percent complete.
Woronora Dam is extremely self.
Avon Dam: a hundred percent
Cataract Dam: a hundred percent
Cordeaux Dam has a 100% success rate.
100% at the Nepean Dam
Prospect Dam has a 97.4% success rate.
Reservoir Wingecarribee: 100 percent
100 percent at Fitzroy Falls Reservoir
Tallowa Dam: a hundred percent
Dams in the Blue Mountains: 99.9%
Warragamba Dam, in south-western Sydney, is the largest of them all, supplying more than 80% of Sydney’s water. Since last week, it has been flooding and continues to leak. (Manly Dam Flood)
The dam was spilling at a rate of more than 300 gigalitres per day last week, with a peak of 440 gigalitres each day slated for March 2021.
The catchment received 48.3mm of rain in the 24 hours leading up to 9 a.m. on Tuesday. Rain has continued to pummel Sydney since then, causing flash floods in the west, south-west, and north-west suburbs, as well as the northern beaches, with heavy rain expected to last until early Wednesday.
Will more dams be ‘overtop’ in the coming days?
Due to the very localized pattern of the storms, all dams in New South Wales may be at risk of overtopping, according to Nash.” Because the earth is already moist,” he explains, “even a small severe rain episode in the correct catchment area for any dams might generate a rapid inflow into the dam system or into the river system, which will then travel downstream and potentially cause complications.”
“We have systems in place where we have specific trigger points for specific dams… If we received these triggers and notifications, we will be capable of making arrangements.” (Manly Dam Flood)
He recommends that anyone living in low-lying areas or near dams and rivers have an evacuation plan. “Half the struggle is knowing where to go and what to bring with you,” he explains.
Manly Dam flood: two found dead
As the Manly Dam bursts and the Roseville bridge floods, streets turn into rivers, prompting evacuation orders for more than a dozen communities.
Follow our live blog for the most up-to-date flood information.
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Thousands of Sydney residents have been forced to flee their homes after floods wreaked havoc on Australia’s largest city, killing a mother and her kid.
The death toll from Australia’s east coast floods climbed to 21 on Tuesday as the second east coast low in a week came in, bringing severe winds and heavy rains to a large stretch of the New South Wales coast, causing landslides and wild waves.
Around 50,000 people were ordered to evacuate their homes across NSW, with 40,000 of those living in more than a dozen Sydney suburbs, including the northern beaches. (Manly Dam Flood)
EROWAL BAY flooding from St Georges Basin this morning. Stay clear of low lying rivers, streams, storm drains and stay safe out there. 💧 pic.twitter.com/kwSkXFTxIp
— NSW SES (@NSWSES) March 8, 2022
A 67-year-old woman and her 34-year-old son from Wentworthville were discovered dead in western Sydney on Tuesday morning. Their abandoned automobile had been discovered earlier, bringing the total number of deaths in NSW to eight. The floods in Queensland have took the lives of thirteen people.
The worst of the NSW flooding hit Sydney’s northern suburbs and beaches on Tuesday. The Roseville Bridge, which spans Middle Harbor, was flooded, trapping motorists and generating significant delays.
— Tanya Selak (@GongGasGirl) March 8, 2022
Residents in low-lying regions around Manly Dam were encouraged to flee after NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet warned that the dam had begun to flow, threatening the lives of 2,000 people in 800 homes.
As the water level at the dam decreased marginally, the State Emergency Services changed the order to an evacuation warning.
Water up to a meter deep flooded a prominent street in nearby Dee Why. (Manly Dam Flood)
Students at Manly Vale’s Mackellar girls’ campus observed automobiles float by their windows in deep water. One parent at the school claimed that her daughter had to wade through water to exit the building.
“At about 1 p.m., we received an email alerting us to pick up our children from Quirk Road,” the parent explained. “As we were leaving, they began yelling kids’ names over the loudspeaker.”
“Water was pouring over the tops of the cars and into the lower floors of the lower blocks.” As she was in the hall, my daughter had to walk through knee-deep water to get out.”
On Tuesday evening, there were 64 evacuation orders in effect, ranging from the Kempsey CBD in northern NSW to the Illawarra region south of Sydney, with another 17 evacuation alerts impacting an additional 18,000 people.
One of the most recent orders was for Narrabeen on Sydney’s northern beaches, which were being battered by dangerous surf that was expected to linger until Thursday over much of the NSW coast.
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued an amended warning for damaging winds and heavy rain spanning from near Newcastle to the Bega.
“Damaging winds of 60 to 80 km/h with peak gusts of approximately 110 km/h are possible this evening along the coastal edges of the Illawarra and Sydney metropolitan regions,” according to the BoM.
Heavy rain threatened to create flash floods in the Hunter, Sydney metro region, Illawarra, and northern parts of the south coast districts, according to the Bureau of Meteorology. Rainfall totals could range from 70 to 100 mm over the next six hours.
According to a Weatherzone expert, Sydney has had the wettest start to any year, with 821.6mm as of Tuesday morning, far ahead of the nearest challenger period in 1956. The total has grown by another 41mm by Tuesday evening.
Some of the strongest rains fell in Sydney’s northern suburbs on Tuesday, with 102mm recorded at Monavale Golf Club in the three hours leading up to 3.30 pm. Other notable totals included 124mm at Forestville in six hours and 128.5mm at Mosman in the same timeframe.
Many of the key highways surrounding the Georges River in the city’s south-west, notably Henry Lawson Drive and Milperra Road, were closed by authorities, with huge portions of streets entirely submerged.
Thousands of citizens were stranded in the CBD as three major routes into the northern beaches were closed to all traffic.
Many residents could only stand by and watch as their homes and cars were swept away by the floodwaters. On Monday night, tens of thousands of people in the southwest were advised to evacuate due to swollen rivers caused by heavy rain. (Manly Dam Flood)
Authorities stopped the normally busy Newbridge Road in Sydney’s south-west after the river rose to 3.65 metres earlier on Tuesday, and the water level in residences reached 1.5 metres.
Angelo Testa and Oliver Bucha were gliding down their Chipping Norton neighbourhood in their dinghy, assisting neighbours and bringing supplies.
The first level of his parents’ home was entirely inundated, according to Testa, a yacht trader, and it was the second time in three days that their home had flooded.
“We got around a metre and a half of water,” Testa said. “It’s the second time in three days, and it’s been absolutely insane.” “However, it is what it is.” Water rises and then falls.
“Last night, there was a man walking through with water up to his neck.” We picked him up and drove him to the end of the street; we’ve had folks trapped in their homes who had hoped to wait out the water but were unable to.”
Can’t say I’ve ever taken a boat down Newbridge Road, but here we are. Parts of w/syd completely underwater. pic.twitter.com/lFHFgNYHoo
— Mostafa Rachwani (@Rachwani91) March 8, 2022
Water “came like a flash” into Anthony Lippis’ home, which is located just off Newbridge Road.
Lippis explained, “I lost my car, and we didn’t have enough time to save it.” “It’s a horrible situation.” (Manly Dam Flood)
“Every time something like this happens, we have to ramp things up a notch, and it’s tiring and devastating for everyone.”
Landslides and collapsed roads wreaked havoc on commuters, prompting the Blue Mountains to be declared a natural disaster region
The thunderstorms were slow-moving, according to a representative for the Bureau of Meteorology.
“Intense rainfall is predicted,” they stated, “posing a risk of hazardous and life-threatening flash flooding.”
The BoM’s Dean Narramore said the state had experienced a “devastating week,” with conditions not anticipated to improve until Thursday.
“Both the Hawkesbury River and the Nepean River are at risk of catastrophic flooding,” Narramore said, “with many sites experiencing levels equivalent to or greater than what we saw in March of 2021.”
From the mid-north coast to the south coast, there were 25 flood warnings in place, and all but two of the state’s major dams were at full capacity.
On Tuesday evening, the Macleay River at Kempsey was forecast to peak at 6.3 metres, close to the major flood threshold of 6.6 metres.
The last time flood waters rose to that height was during the 2013 floods, when the river crested at 7.1 metres. Other rivers, such as the Hawkesbury-Nepean, were flooded at levels that were higher than last week and higher than March 2021. (Manly Dam Flood)
Their granddaughters had a bit of fun in an awful situation. pic.twitter.com/Jv3pYBrYyX
— Xanthe Gregory (@xanthe_gregory) March 3, 2022
On Tuesday evening, the Hawkesbury River in North Richmond was predicted to climb to 14.2 meters, with further rises possible.
In the 24 hours leading up to 4 p.m. Tuesday, the SES responded to nearly 3,000 pleas for help, resulting in 147 flood rescues. Almost 900 individuals were housed in makeshift structures.
Once the severe weather event had passed, Perrottet stated there needed to be “honest appraisals” of the state’s disaster mitigation policies.
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