The heartbreaking floods have so far seen some 18,000 NSW residents evacuated from their homes and left a number of Queenslanders on high alert.
From fires to travel bans to floods, thousands of East Coast residents are on amber traffic light warnings as “catastrophic” weather fronts roll across large swathes of the NSW and Southern QLD.
Unrelenting downpours have caused rivers to rise and break their banks, causing destruction that will linger for weeks.
What’s going on?
Severe rain has lashed the coast for days causing major flooding similar to the 1988 and 1990 flood events along the Hawkesbury River and the Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting more heavy rain.
More than 9500 requests for help have been made around in NSW alone since Thursday, with emergency services performing about 850 flood rescues.
Four homes on the Gold Coast have been evacuated due to landslide risk while more than 100 properties are being inspected for damage in the south east, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told parliament on Tuesday.
Ms Palaszczuk said the “rain bomb” would continue for at least another day, and emergency services had already responded to 840 calls for help.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters “No lives to this point have been lost thankfully.”
With more rainfall predicted, authorities are urging people not to go out unless they really have to, and if they do go out, to keep an eye out for their fellow drivers, cyclists and walkers.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said “floodwaters will persist for some time” and the government had received a request for 1000 ADF personnel to help with the NSW clean-up.
“We want it to be done swiftly and effectively to try and get these communities back on their feet as quickly as we possibly can,” Mr Morrison said.
Mr Morrison said some $3.5 million had already been distributed in federal government assistance to those affected by floods.
The wild weather, on top of ongoing concerns about the end of Jobkeeper – a key government stimulus measure – is now weighing on people’s confidence.
The concern is that the removal of Jobkeeper could see a renewed lift in the unemployment rate. Treasury estimates 100,000 people could join the dole queue.
“We have come off the back of drought and bushfires in the pandemic and other floods. Some of the same areas that were smashed by bushfires only 15 months ago are now dealing with floods,”
Deputy Premier John Barilaro told the Seven Network.
The floods are also putting a dampener on the Holiday Here This Year message, with Easter holiday travellers having to think about whether it is safe or not for them to travel.
If it is safe, and travellers feel happy to go ahead with their plans or rebook for a later date, their holiday dollars will count even more than ever for local businesses and suppliers.
Our thoughts are with all those affected by these horrific floods. Please reach out if there is anything we can help with. #TogetherinTravel
Source: AAP. Header Image: @KPFollowing
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