A man has died after his kayak capsized in Parramatta River amid severe flooding in Greater Sydney.
Per The Guardian, New South Wales police said emergency services were called to Parramatta River off Abbotsford Parade in Abbotsford this afternoon, after a boat was spotted capsized and a man was seen struggling in the water.
A member of the public tried to help the man and attempts were made to revive him before emergency and rescue services arrived.
The man died at the scene.
“Police are conducting inquiries to identify the man and will prepare a report for the coroner,” police said.
The devastating news comes after tens of thousands of Sydney residents have been told to evacuate their homes, as the city prepares for torrential rain and flash flooding, which is expected to persist until Tuesday 5 July.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, NSW State Emergency Service has issued more than 40 evacuation orders and 44 evacuation warnings, spanning from the south-west to the north-west of Sydney. Around 32,000 residents are facing evacuation.
Per The Guardian, the SES has received about 3,111 requests for assistance.
Flooding in the #Hawkesbury #Nepean Valley is escalating very quickly. Torrential rain continues to fall and #Warragamba is spilling at a rate of 500GL. Tonight we are likely to experience river rises higher than the previous 3 floods.— Steph Cooke MP (@stephcookemp) July 3, 2022
“This is a life-threatening emergency situation,” NSW Emergency Services Minister Steph Cooke said during a press conference this afternoon.
“We are now facing dangers on multiple fronts — flash flooding, riverine flooding and coastal erosion,” she said.
“If you know your local community is prone to flooding then please be prepared to evacuate and at short notice.
“We have said this before, it is a rapidly evolving situation, so please continue to listen to the advice of the BOM, listen to the advice of our emergency services organisations. Please, stay up-to-date.”
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for metropolitan Sydney, the Illawarra, southern parts of the Mid-North Coast, the Hunter and parts of the Central Tablelands. Major flood warnings are in place for the Hawkesbury, Nepean and Colo rivers.
⚠️ #Flood Warning issued #Hawkesbury #Nepean & #Colo Rivers. Major flooding occurring at #Menangle #Wallacia & #NthRichmond. Major flooding is forecast for #Windsor #Sackville & #WisemansFerry. See https://t.co/Nd2CLc5R37 for details & updates; follow @NSWSES advice. #NSWFloods pic.twitter.com/Cqm67hU4NB— Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) July 3, 2022
Per The Guardian, the BOM’s hazard preparedness and response manager Jane Golding projects Sydney, the Hunter and the Illawarra will receive the most rainfall over the coming days.
“It looks like the focus area, firstly, will be around Sydney and the Illawarra tomorrow,” she said.
“We’re expecting some locations over the next few days and even tomorrow could see what they would normally see in the entire month of July fall in one day.”
Per SBS News, Cooke has warned affected communities to stay vigilant.
“It was a long night last night. It’s been a very long day today and tonight will be another long night for our emergency services workers and our volunteers,” she said.
“If you were safe in 2021 do not assume you will be safe tonight. This is a rapidly evolving situation and we could see areas impacted that we haven’t seen before.”
According to the ABC, flood levels could be higher than those seen in previous years.
“We are anticipating that these levels will rise above the last 18 months of flood levels,” SES commissioner Carlene York said.
“Just because it got to the front doorstep on the last floods doesn’t mean it won’t escalate overnight.”
Heavy rain is expected to continue into Monday 4 July. The BOM has forecast thunderstorms, damaging winds and rainfall up to 100mm for Sydney and between 100 and 150mm in Penrith.
Ahead of the wild weather warning, Transport for NSW has urged commuters to avoid non-essential travel and, if required, to plan ahead to avoid disruptions.
🌧⚠️ The weather experienced in Sydney, the Central Coast, Illawarra and South Coast over the weekend is set to continue tomorrow.— NSW TrainLink South (@TrainLinkSouth) July 3, 2022
Please avoid any non-essential travel as trains will be heavily impacted. Safety is our main priority.
Visit https://t.co/SNnA01LEy2 for the latest pic.twitter.com/j9vzaetZsm