NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has warned that evacuations in some parts of Penrith are possible in the coming hours and days as flood conditions worsen.
Ms Berejiklian says the flood event being experienced in the Hawkesbury-Nepean is a “one-in-50-year” event.
“Yesterday we were hoping it will only be a one-in-20-year event, now it looks like a one-in-50-year event, and potentially another 4,000 people may be asked to evacuate in and around that Hawkesbury region and parts of western Sydney,” Ms Berejiklian said.
The NSW State Emergency Service is warning that the flood event appears to be similar to that experienced in 1961 – some half a century ago.
The Nepean River peaked at 9.37m this morning and is expected to continue rising in the coming days.
— Brett (@brettpfarrell) March 21, 2021
Should the peak exceed 10 metres, low-lying areas of Penrith including parts of Emu Plains, Penrith, Jamisontown, Regentville and Mulgoa may be impacted, with evacuations likely.
There are currently no evacuation orders in place for the Penrith LGA, apart from at Agnes Banks where all properties within the area of the area on the Hawkesbury River that contains Yarramundi Lane, Crowleys Lane and Inalls Lane are being evacuated.
A large number of roads across Penrith are closed due to flooding and locals are being advised to avoid any unnecessary travel. It’s likely that the Wallacia Bridge will close in the coming hours.
Rural Fire Services crews have conducted two flood rescues on Mulgoa Road at Jerrys Creek in Wallacia.
Police and emergency services are urging locals to stay off the roads.
“There is a high level of traffic around Nepean River vantage points, causing difficulties for emergency service personnel to respond to calls for assistance,” a Police spokesperson said.
“Please stay away from all flooded roads and waterways – a photo or video is not worth the risk.”
Penola Catholic College has confirmed it will close tomorrow for all students and staff.
The SES has set up a sand bag collection point at Jamison Park for anyone who requires them.
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Senior Writer. He has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations.