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NSW Swims After East Coast Storm Cell: A Recap

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Wild weather continued to intensify over the weekend as heavy rainfall and winds lashed the East Coast. The weather swept its way across New South Wales, after drenching Queensland earlier in the week.

The Northern Rivers, Mid North Coast, Hunter, Metropolitan, Illawarra, South Coast, Central Tablelands, Northern Tablelands and areas of the Southern Tablelands and North West Slopes and Plains districts have been the most seriously affected.

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Lifeguard Ben Goodwin puts up warning signs at Currumbin as strong wind and rain hit the Gold Coast – Source: news.com.au

King tides saw flood warnings being issued for 23 NSW rivers, with residents in Billinudgel, Ocean Shores, Golden Beach, New Brighton and in low-lying areas near Coffs Creek, evacuated due to flooding.

Organisers of Sydney’s Vivid urged festival goers to postpone their plans, with weather conditions expected to worsen into Sunday afternoon. A number of Vivid‘s installations were damaged in the wind and several others were cancelled.

Further south, the Illawarra and South Coast region was hit even harder. Some of the highest rainfalls fell across the region with Figtree (Wollongong) receiving 320mm, Jervis Bay recording 400mm and Robertson hitting 618mm over the weekend. Port Kembla reported swells of over 11 metres and winds of up 100km per hour.

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Water over Bolong Road in Bomaderry, NSW – Source: ABC

Widespread power outages swept across the area and in the Shoalhaven more than 6,000 were left without power. The Shoalhaven also received multiple flood warnings with waters expected to rise further following king tides throughout Sunday and Monday.

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Flooding across the Princes Highway at Berry, NSW – Source: ABC

The South Coast train line has been closed between Bomaderry (Nowra) and Wollongong, and Wollongong and Port Kembla, with replacement bus services in operation.

Three people have now been confirmed dead across New South Wales. A man in Canberra was swept away in his four-wheel drive, another man’s body was found in Bowral and a third man’s body was recovered in Leppington. Concerns remain for two others who have been reported missing and for a swimmer who disappeared off Bondi Beach.

A swimming pool washed into the ocean in Collaroy, Sydney – Source: Huffington Post

While the weather conditions have eased, the SES has reminded people to only travel when necessary, avoid flood waters and drive safely.