Raging flood waters have swallowed footpaths and parklands after a huge Sydney river broke its banks as unrelenting rain continues to batter the city.
Parramatta River spilled over on Saturday after days of wet weather, engulfing parklands and causing commuter chaos in the region.
The boat jetty, ferry wharf, and surrounding lands were completely submerged as torrents of water gushed out from the swelling river in the city’s west.
As downpours smash Sydney for the fifth consecutive day, the river has continued to swell further west, inundating footpaths alongside the river and footbridges that allow pedestrians to cross over the water.
Sydney’s Parramatta River has continued to swell overnight, swallowing footpaths and surrounding parklands
A woman takes pictures of the overflowing Parramatta river in Sydney on Monday as Sydney braces for its worst flooding in decades
Photos posted online show the crossing, below the Barry Wilde Bridge, immersed beneath the current, with trees and debris tangled in the metal grates poking out above the surface.
A flood warning is currently in place for the Parramatta CBD, with residents advised the footbridges at Barry Wilde Bridge and at Charles Street Weir are closed and to be aware of flooding on footpaths along the riverside area and in the ferry wharf.
Those is the area are urged to remain aware of the changing situation and flooding nearby and to never drive, ride or walk in floodwater.
On Saturday, the river overflowed between Charles Street weir and the ferry wharf rendering the boat jetty and parkland on either side no longer visible.
The river in the city’s west breached its banks on either side on Saturday – flooding neighbouring parkland
The Parramatta River on a normal day. The river has spilled over between Charles Street weir and the ferry wharf
The ferry terminal on the river has also completely flooded – with services to and from the area cancelled indefinitely until the once-in-100 year weather event is over.
Flood waters rose 1.65metres above the river on Sunday and are expected to climb, with as wild weather and torrential rain continues to lash much of the state’s east.
Locals who live in close proximity to the Parramatta River said conditions are unprecedented after the banks were broken between Charles Street weir and the ferry wharf.
‘The entire bike path looks like it has been swallowed up,’ Leanne Roberts told Daily Mail Australia.
‘It is incredible to see the amount of rain at the moment, I actually can’t believe it.’
The Parramatta River has already reached dangerously high water levels, with residents encouraged to stay indoors and be prepared to evacuate if contacted by emergency services.
Across NSW, there are 40 flood warnings and 19 evacuation orders in place running from the mid-north coast down to the Illawarra, including western Sydney, with more expected to be declared on Monday.
The footbridge beneath the Barry Wilde Bridge is completely immersed and tangled in debris
A photo taken before the floods shows the bridge sitting above the Parramatta River
A view of Parramatta Wharf at the swollen Parramatta River as the state of New South Wales experiences heavy rains
Incredible scenes at the Parramatta ferry terminal, with all services cancelled indefinitely
A warning is currently in place for the Parramatta CBD as flood water continues to inundate the areas surrounding the river
The SES is warning the deluge will continue and more evacuations are likely. There are three key areas of concern – the mid-north coast, the Hawkesbury valley and western NSW.
There were 1,500 urgent calls for help overnight and 211 schools across the state were closed on Monday. The NSW Department of Education issued a list of the schools, which includes 151 public, 26 independent and 34 catholic.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Monday said 18,000 people have been ordered to evacuate across the state and there have been 3,000 evacuations in the Nepean Hawkesbury region.
‘We ask everybody who are in those flood areas to please be cautious and listen to the orders, please be ready if you have been asked to be on alert, be sure you are packed and ready to go in case you need to be evacuated at short notice,’ she said.
Ms Berejiklian said the NSW community is thinking of those currently ‘living in fear and anxiety’.
‘Some communities battered by the bushfires are now being battered by the floods and deep drought prior to that and I don’t know any time in a state history where we have had these extreme weather conditions in such quick succession in the middle of a pandemic,’ she said.
Definitely no ferries for commuters on Saturday, with more rain forecast across the state of NSW
The Parramatta River seen breaking its banks on Saturday in unrelenting wet weather
The swollen Parramatta River in Sydney’s west following an avalanche of rain on Saturday
‘They are challenging times for NSW but we have also demonstrated our capacity to be resilient.’
The premier said there are now up to 38 locations regarded as natural disaster areas and residents in those communities will be able to receive financial assistance.
Communities along the Hawkesbury River are bracing for once-in-a-generation flooding that could displace thousands of residents and disrupt utilities for months.
The BOM expects Monday to bring the worst flooding event to the area northwest of Sydney since November 1961 – 60 years ago.
Floodwaters are expected to rise to major levels on Monday morning and inundate places such as Windsor, Pitt Town, North Richmond, Freemans Reach and Colo.
The Hawkesbury is predicted to reach peaks of up to 15 metres and the SES says homes and properties will be flooded, some up to roof height.
A park bench at the swollen Parramatta River as the state of New South Wales experiences heavy rains
The wet weather also caused plenty of delays on roads across different parts of Sydney
The Parramatta River is looking very different at the moment after a heavy recent downpour
Barricades were set up at the ferry terminal after the breaking of banks on the Parramatta River
Locals were stunned to see the Parramatta River break its banks following the heavy rain across NSW
WHAT YOU CAN DO DURING A FLOOD TO AID YOUR SURVIVAL
*Never drive, ride or walk through floodwater
*Stack possessions, records, stock or equipment on benches and tables, placing electrical items on top
*Secure objects that are likely to float and cause damage
*Relocate waste containers, chemicals and poisons well above floor level
*Keep listening to your local radio station for information, updates and advice
*Keep in contact with your neighbours
*Be prepared to evacuate if advised by emergency services
Source: NSW State Emergency Services
How the serene Parramatta River in Sydney’s west usually looks before being subjected to flash flooding