More than 3,000 residents of communities in southern New South Wales received an evacuate order after heavy rains swelled flooding in Australia’s most populous state, caused one person dead.
About 2,000 people in the Riverina, a farming region about 500 kilometers (312 miles) south of the state capital, Sydney, were ordered to evacuate early today and 1,000 others were put on notice as downpours hit the area, State Emergency Service Commissioner Murray Kear said at a news conference broadcast on Sky News. As much as 200 millimeters (8 inches) of rain fell in the region late yesterday and early today, the SES said.
Three-quarters of New South Wales is affected by flood waters amid “unprecedented” rainfall, Kear told reporters yesterday. Floodwaters in northern New South Wales last month damaged homes and ruined cotton crops, one year after natural disasters cost the Australian economy A$9 billion ($9.7 billion).
“Police found the body of a man after he and two others were swept away when their vehicle was stuck in flood waters late yesterday,” Kear said. The survivors were found by rescuers downstream.
Evacuation orders affecting 850 people were issued early today for The Rock, a community in the Riverina, after the deluge caused flash flooding in Bourke’s Creek, the SES said in a statement on its website. Occupants of 540 other properties in communities in the state’s south were also told to leave and evacuation warnings were issued in a number of other towns.