Following weeks of dangerous wildfires, the east coast of Australia is facing another weather extreme as heavy downpours across the area caused major flash flooding.
The rain was a welcome change for drought-stricken regions hit worst by the fires but authorities signaled a severe weather warning to the public on Sunday in most areas of the New South Wales coast and parts of Queensland. The weather forecast in these areas warn about strong winds, persistent rains, and unusually high tides.
Six flood rescues were carried
The New South Wales State Emergency Service carried out six flood rescues near the city of Grafton as dozens called for aid over the past couple of days. Rescued individuals were reportedly stranded in their vehicles as they tried to drive through floodwater.
Speaking to Australia’s 7News outlet, Assistant Commissioner Karen Webb addressed the dangerous weather conditions on Sunday saying:
“There are currently hundreds of calls for assistance, including trees, boulders or power poles down onto cars and homes, and across roads, as well as power outages and localized flooding impacting various roads and traffic lights.”
Parts of the east coast experience the most torrential rainfall recorded in five decades. The country’s Meteorology raised a warning for “dangerous conditions” over the weekend.
On the upside, the recent downpour put an end to the Currowan Fire ravaging the south of Sydney on Saturday. It was finally extinguished after devastating over 300 homes and scorching around 1.2 million acres of land well within 74 days. Firefighters were able to salvage 1,889 homes according to reports.
As of 8pm tonight, the Currowan Fire burning in the Shoalhaven has been set to out. The fire burned for 74 days, burnt out 499,621 hectares and spans from each end of the Shoalhaven. 312 homes were destroyed and 173 damaged. 1,889 homes saved by firefighters. #NSWRFS #nswfires pic.twitter.com/0IDLGK2p62
— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) February 8, 2020