Heavy rains lash Sydney, prompting chaos

A fireman sits on a road holding a hose that is pumping
water out of a residential block after it flooded due to
heavy rain in Sydney, Australia, Nov. 28, 2018. David
Gray, Reuters

SYDNEY — Flights were cancelled, railway lines closed and
motorists stranded on flooded roads as a month’s worth of rain
fell on Sydney early Wednesday, leaving emergency services
battling to respond.

Severe thunderstorms and heavy rainfall lashed Australia’s
largest city, with the local Bureau of Meteorology reporting
more than 73 millimeters of rain fell in less than an hour in
some places.

The city usually sees an average of 84 millimeters for the
entire month of November.

Electricity providers reported at least 3,500 people were left
without power, and emergency services said they had received at
least 6 flood rescue requests even before most workers had
finished their morning coffee and begun the daily commute.

They urged residents to use caution and not drive vehicles into
flooded roads: a “major cause of death during floods is by
people entering floodwater. Find an alternate route and avoid
unnecessary travel.”

At the city’s main international airport, multiple flights were
cancelled or delayed and aircraft were left stranded on the
tarmac as ground crews took shelter from the downpour and
electrical storms.

“Due to adverse weather conditions today, we expect that
International and Domestic terminals will experience some
flight delays and cancellations,” said the airport authority.

Rainfall was forecast to slow, but continue throughout the day.

Australia is no stranger to extreme weather, experiencing flash
floods, sandstorms and even extreme drought in areas that are
now being inundated.

© Agence France-Presse

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