Friday, July 22, 2011

Torrential rains cause chaos on New South Wales coast, Victoria's Gippsland, Australia - 22nd July 2011

TORRENTIAL rain is still causing chaos along the NSW coast, while conditions appear to have eased for residents evacuated along the Traralgon Creek overnight after a three-day drenching in Victoria's east.

In NSW, the State Emergency Service received 560 calls for help in the 24 hours to Friday morning, with Sydney and the Central Coast drenched by more than 80mm of rain.

With the city expecting 15-30mm of rain on Friday, it will be the wettest month of July in more than 50 years, Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster Jake Phillips said.

"It will be the wettest July since 1950 when 336mm fell," Mr Phillips said.

Meanwhile in Victoria's Gippsland, a moderate flood warning for the area escalated quickly on Thursday evening to major, triggering an evacuation alert for about 60 properties affected in the town.

Victorian State Emergency Service spokesman Lachlan Quick said extensive sandbagging in Traralgon, Moe and Morwell appeared to have protected most homes along the creek.

He said the rain caused inundation in a small number of yards and there were some reports of properties being affected in one street in Traralgon, Mr Quick said.

Flood levels were dropping on Friday morning after the creek peaked at 4am, he said.

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Terry Ryan said parts of East Gippsland had recorded 100mm of rain over Tuesday and Wednesday, with the far east forecast to get another 40-50mm up until 9am on Friday. Read More