Terrified woman is plucked from rising floodwaters in Sydney


Dramatic moment a terrified woman is plucked from rising floodwaters as wild weather wreaks havoc – with the Army on standby and 500,000 told to flee their homes after the record deluge leaves a trail of devastation

  • Footage showed the desperate woman, in her 20s, clinging onto a tree in floods 
  • She was rescued by emergency workers as floods caused havoc in Sydney 
  • Around 500,000 residents in southwest Sydney have been told to evacuate 
  • More than a month’s worth of rain hit some regions of NSW in just one day

Dramatic footage shows the moment a terrified young woman was rescued from surging floods as wild weather continued to wreak havoc in NSW on Saturday night. 

The woman, believed to be in her 20s, desperately clung to a tree as the freezing current ripped at her after she had been swept away by the treacherous waters.

Emergency workers bravely fought to save her and managed get a lifeline to her before plucking her to safety in Holsworthy, south-west Sydney, on Saturday night. 

The rescue came as 500,000 residents in south-west Sydney were facing evacuation orders after heavy rain pounding the east coast triggered multiple flood warnings.

The terrified woman clung to a tree as she was battered by flood waters in southwestern Sydney

The terrified woman clung to a tree as she was battered by flood waters in southwestern Sydney 

 

Around 500,000 residents in southwest Sydney have been told to evacuate as the heavy rain pounding the NSW east coast triggered multiple flood warnings

Around 500,000 residents in southwest Sydney have been told to evacuate as the heavy rain pounding the NSW east coast triggered multiple flood warnings

The terrified young woman was rescued from surging floods as wild weather continued to wreak havoc in NSW on Saturday night

The terrified young woman was rescued from surging floods as wild weather continued to wreak havoc in NSW on Saturday night

People in suburbs including Camden, Wallacia, Liverpool, Georges Hall, Chipping Norton, Lansvale and Moorebank were all told to head for higher ground on Saturday evening, with the State Emergency Service warning they may soon be cut off by floodwaters.

‘Please be ready to evacuate on short notice,’ NSW Emergency Services Minister Stephanie Cooke said.

‘Please ensure that you prepare your properties as best you can and if in any doubt, please evacuate earlier. 

‘Don’t necessarily wait for us to put out an order, asking or suggesting that you leave.’

The SES warned: ‘If you receive a text message from +61 444 444 444, it’s an official alert that requires attention and to take action early.’ 

Authorities also fear that Sydney’s main water source, the Warragamba Dam, could overflow and unleash widespread flooding as the deluge smashed a 118-year record. 

SES volunteers staged at least three rescues from floodwaters, with more than 240 pleas for help as the incessant rain caused chaos. 

Ambulance, fire, police and SES personnel desperately tried to find one man who was washed away in the Hacking River near Otford, in the Illawarra, south of Sydney.

A rural firefighter spotted the man in a nearby creek, and got in the rising icy waters to pull him to safety onto the riverbank. 

Additional RFS crew members then helped him up to higher ground, where he was assessed for injuries and taken to hospital

Ambulance, fire, police and SES personnel desperately tried to find a man who was washed away in the Hacking River near Otford, in Illawarra region, south of Sydney

Ambulance, fire, police and SES personnel desperately tried to find a man who was washed away in the Hacking River near Otford, in Illawarra region, south of Sydney

Another nine people were also rescued from flood waters in Austral, south west Sydney when two cars were stranded in rising waters

Another nine people were also rescued from flood waters in Austral, south west Sydney when two cars were stranded in rising waters

NSW Emergency Minister Steph Cooke said flash flooding could occur anywhere from Newcastle to Jervis Bay

NSW Emergency Minister Steph Cooke said flash flooding could occur anywhere from Newcastle to Jervis Bay

Another nine people were also rescued from flood waters in Austral, south west Sydney when two cars were stranded in rising waters,

‘The two cars were in approximately 40cm of water, which is enough to be very dangerous,’ said a Rura Fire Service spokesman. 

‘The occupants from two vehicles were assisted to higher ground by our members and they have gone home safely.’ 

Authorities warned earlier on Saturday the current bout of wet weather was only going to get worse, with more rain, powerful winds and surging seas expected.

The federal government approved ADF support at the request of NSW on Friday night, with 100 troops and two helicopters available from Sunday onwards, Emergency Management Minister Murray Watt said.

 ‘I want to assure people that the federal government … is 100 per cent prepared for what might lie ahead,’ Senator Watt said from Brisbane on Saturday.

‘One of the things that we’ve learned over the last couple of years is that when we don’t have a federal government that takes responsibility and isn’t proactive, bad things can happen.’

The Bureau of Meteorology’s Jane Golding said there would be a ‘deterioration’ of weather overnight, with a risk of flash flooding and landslips.

‘The rainfall rates will increase,’ she said.

‘We’ll start to see the wind increase as well. We’ll see the seas whipped up and we’ll see the rivers respond to the rain that’s falling.’

More than 200 millimetres of rain fell south of Wollongong overnight, with six-hour totals of between 80 and 150 millimetres in Sydney and the Illawarra.

The Illawarra district was hit by its heaviest bout of July rainfall since 1904. 

The deluge comes on the first weekend of school holidays in the state, and drivers are being urged to take extra care.

‘We know floodwater is extremely dangerous, especially for drivers. If the road is flooded, turn around and find another way,’ Transport for NSW’s Roger Weeks said.

Routes in and out of Sydney are likely to face congestion, with heavy traffic expected at known pinch-points, particularly around the airport.

Hazardous surf conditions are also expected.

Torrential rain, flash flooding, landslides, damaging winds and power outages are all threatening Sydney and NSW residents

Torrential rain, flash flooding, landslides, damaging winds and power outages are all threatening Sydney and NSW residents

Residents in the Sydney and Illawarra regions were previously warned flash flooding is 'essentially guaranteed' with three months' worth of rain to fall in the next five day

Residents in the Sydney and Illawarra regions were previously warned flash flooding is ‘essentially guaranteed’ with three months’ worth of rain to fall in the next five day

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe weather alert for metropolitan Sydney, Illawarra and parts of the South Coast, Central Tablelands and Southern Tablelands on Saturday morning

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe weather alert for metropolitan Sydney, Illawarra and parts of the South Coast, Central Tablelands and Southern Tablelands on Saturday morning

NSW Emergency Minister Steph Cooke said flash flooding could occur anywhere from Newcastle to Jervis Bay

NSW Emergency Minister Steph Cooke said flash flooding could occur anywhere from Newcastle to Jervis Bay

The Bureau of Meteorology said the system is likely to develop on Sunday or Monday, prolonging the persistent rain into next week.

Flooding is possible for the Hunter, Central Coast, the Greater Sydney region and the South Coast from Saturday, with flood watches in place for catchments between Newcastle and Batemans Bay, including Sydney and the Illawarra.

Areas at risk include Newcastle, the Central Coast, Lake Macquarie, the Upper Coxs, Colo, Macdonald, Woronora, Patterson, Williams and Lower Hunter rivers.

Also at risk are the Upper and Lower Nepean and Hawkesbury rivers.

Emergency Minister Cooke said flash flooding could occur anywhere from Newcastle to Jervis Bay.

‘We are all waiting nervously to see what eventuates,’ she said on Saturday, adding she remained confident emergency services were prepared for what was coming.

‘My message to everyone is, if you have not yet been impacted by rainfall, don’t think you have been spared. We may not have seen the worst of it yet.’

THE FIVE DAY WEATHER FORECAST IN YOUR CITY  

SYDNEY:

Saturday: Shower or two. Max 19 Min 11.

Sunday: Showers. Max 19 Min 11.

Monday: Shower or two. Max 19 Min 12.

Tuesday: Partly cloudy. Max 20 Min 10. 

BRISBANE:

Saturday: Partly cloudy. Max 23 Min 10.

Sunday: Partly cloudy. Max 23 Min 11.

Monday: Partly cloudy. Max 22 Min 13.

Tuesday: Partly cloudy. Max 23 Min 12. 

ADELAIDE: 

Saturday: Mostly sunny. Max 18 Min 9.

Sunday: Cloudy. Max 17 Min 10.

Monday: Showers. Max 15 Min 11.

Tuesday: Showers easing. Max 15 Min 9. 

PERTH:

Saturday: Showers. Max 18 Min 12.

Sunday: Showers easing. Max 19 Min 12.

Monday: Partly cloudy. Max 19 Min 8.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny. Max 20 Min 8. 

MELBOURNE:  

Saturday: Partly cloudy. Max 15 Min 8.

Sunday: Partly cloudy. Max 16 Min 5.

Monday: Partly cloudy. Max 17 Min 9.

Tuesday: Showers. Max 15 Min 11. 

CANBERRA: 

Saturday: Partly cloudy. Max 15 Min 1.

Sunday: Partly cloudy. Max 15 Min 0.

Monday: Cloudy. Max 15 Min 4.

Tuesday: Showers. Max 13 Min 5. 

DARWIN: 

Saturday: Sunny. Max 33 Min 21.

Sunday: Sunny. Max 33 Min 20.

Monday: Partly cloudy. Max 32 Min 21.

Tuesday: Partly cloudy. Max 33 Min 22. 

HOBART:

Saturday: Shower or two clearing. Max 13 Min 7.

Sunday: Partly cloudy. Max 14 Min 6.

Monday: Partly cloudy. Max 15 Min 8.

Tuesday: Shower or two. Max 14 Min 9.

 

 

 

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