April 28 - May 4, 2024: Issue 623


Recovery support for April 2024 flood-affected NSW communities extended to northern beaches LGA

Narrabeen and Warriewood earlier this month. Photo courtesy: NSW SES Warringah / Pittwater Unit

Disaster assistance will be extended to the Armidale, Campbelltown, Lismore, Moree Plains, Northern Beaches and Port Stephens Local Government Areas (LGAs), following heavy rainfall and flooding across NSW from 1 April 2024.

The assistance measures, announced on Friday April 26, are being provided by the Albanese and Minns Governments through the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

The announcement has been welcomed by communities still cleaning up debris, especially the volume of materials that have been carried by floodwaters down the Hawkesbury, and by those who have lost household items and seen their homes damaged.

The support includes:

  • assistance for eligible residents to help meet immediate needs like emergency accommodation or small cash payments to purchase essential items generally provided from evacuation or recovery centres
  • grants for eligible residents to replace lost essential household items to maintain basic standard of living
  • grants for eligible residents to undertake essential structural repairs to restore their homes to a safe and habitable condition
  • support for affected local councils to help with the costs of cleaning up and restoring damaged essential public assets
  • concessional interest rate loans for small businesses, primary producers, and non-profit organisations and grants to sporting and recreation clubs to repair or replace damaged or destroyed property
  • freight subsidies for primary producers to help transport livestock and fodder.

Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt said the extent of the flooding impact is still being assessed.

“This flood event has caused damage across communities, impacting homes, farms, businesses and volunteer groups,” Minister Watt said.

“Many Government agencies and community groups are still out on the ground to assess the damage and continue the mammoth clean-up effort.

“I know the Minns Government is continuing to assess the situation and is adapting as we gain a clearer picture of the impact of this disaster, and our Government stands ready to support as needed.”

NSW Minister for Emergency Services Jihad Dib said the extension of the Natural Disaster Declaration is part of the NSW Government’s ongoing response to the flooding and storm events earlier this month.

“The extension of this disaster declaration unlocks assistance for additional communities in need, as the full extent of the damage becomes known,” Minister Dib said.

More information and support

For information relating to financial assistance, replacing lost documents, location of your nearest recovery centre and more, please contact Service NSW on 13 77 88 or visit www.nsw.gov.au/floods and Support to apply for flood grants, loans or payments and the NSW Government's Natural disaster declarations from financial year 2023-24 webpage - Disaster declarations are issued by the NSW Government and incorporate an Australian Government reference number (AGRN). The AGRN for the April 2024 floods is  AGRN 1119.

To apply for a concessional loan or primary producer grant, contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au

Further information on disaster assistance can be found on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au


The rainfall totals BOM gauges for April 6 2024 recorded Mona Vale Golf Club: 140.2mm, Belrose (Evelyn place) recorded 150.0mm, and Terrey Hills AWS was 161.2mm.

NSW SES Units carried out more than 160 flood rescues overnight and into the morning of Friday April 5 and April 6, following a severe weather event that resulted in flash flooding and damage to properties and roads throughout Sydney, the Illawarra and South Coast.

More than 200ml of rain impacted parts of Sydney and the Illawarra, with around 4,000 NSW SES volunteers responding to 3135 calls for help over a 24-hour period.

On Friday just before 6pm Narrabeen and surrounds to Warriewood, the Narrabeen catchment and Warriewood floodplain, were put on 'watch and act' status as the Wakehurst Parkway was closed at 4.30pm, although water had been over the road prior to then, and a high tide was expected to impact on the lagoon entrance.

At 5am on Saturday morning water over Pittwater road between Narrabeen and Collaroy closed that section of road as well for around two hours.

However, it was not until 7am Saturday morning, with a high tide already coming in, that residents were advised to evacuate as water funnelling into the lagoon from adjacent creeks, combined with the tide, began to flood local streets and areas.

Residents along flooded streets were asking people to not drive along them or to slow down as the wash created was further damaging their homes.

At the same time residents adjacent to Manly dam were placed on 'watch and act' status by the NSW SES as well as water overflowed.

Earlier flooding nearby of Manly streets kept local teams from the NSW SES Manly Unit and NSW SES Warringah-Pittwater Unit busy throughout the night helping residents with leaking rooves, roping off dangerous areas, fallen trees and hundreds of other tasks.

The council closed all beaches as run off from both the Hawkesbury river, also flooding, along with stormwater and creek runoff, brought pollutants and debris to the beaches.

Pittwater was the scene of numerous vessels being dislodged from their moorings by strong damaging winds and heavy rainfall, and the water, coloured brown, showed the debris and runoff from the river had filled the estuary, along with runoff from nearby land.

As rain conditions cleared in the north of the state on late Saturday morning, Sydney and the Illawarra, NSW SES, NSW RFS and NSW SLS volunteers were still supporting clean up activities and responding to reports of fallen trees, property damage and landslides.

The weather system moved south, impacting parts of the south coast, and was expected to move off the coast Saturday evening. 

NSW SES State Duty Commander, Assistant Commissioner Dean Storey, said riverine flooding will continue to impact people who live in low-lying properties along the Hawkesbury, Nepean and Colo Rivers.

“While the significant rain event has now passed and blue skies have returned, flooding is expected to occur for residents in the Hawkesbury Nepean and Colo communities as the rainfall moves into the rivers and downstream over the coming days,” Assistant Commissioner Storey said.

“Many of the affected properties are rural, so we are asking landowners to move their equipment, pumps and stock to higher ground.

“I would also like to remind affected communities that significant amounts of rain have fallen in a short period of time, so there is a lot of water across roads, bridges and causeways. If you come across a flooded road, stop, turnaround and find an alternate route.”

The NSW SES currently has 13 Emergency Warnings in place requesting affected residents evacuate their properties. A full list of the current warning locations can be accessed on the NSW SES website.

Assistant Commissioner Storey praised the efforts of the 4000 volunteers who undertook rescues and helped communities through the storm.

“We saw significant rainfall over a short period of time this morning. NSW SES volunteers did an incredible job responding to hundreds of flood rescues, mostly for drivers caught in flash flooding,” Assistant Commissioner Storey said.

“This demonstrates the skill, professionalism and dedication of our volunteers.”

NSW Rural Fire Service stated;   · 

''It's been a busy night and day for emergency services across NSW, with heavy rainfall and damaging winds impacting much of the state's east coast. RFS volunteers continue to assist the NSW SES respond to fallen trees, downed powerlines, flood rescue and clean up. The RFS is also providing aviation rescue support with helicopters positioned at Bankstown, Taree, Mudgee and Coffs Harbour.''

These volunteer services continued clearing roads of fallen trees and debris throughout Saturday. There were also a number of dislodged drain covers that were found and placed back by these services.

The community had nothing but sincere thanks, praise and applause for the volunteers of the NSW SES Manly Unit and NSW SES Warringah-Pittwater Unit, who were still working to help people as Issue 621, published April 7 2024, went to press.

Photos by Kevin Murray - "Rocket Park" (actually "Warriewood Valley Playground") is now a lake, following the recent heavy rain and changes to its drainage due to recent works. The kids didn't seem to mind. though! Here are a few pics:

NSW SES Manly Unit - making people aware an area is dangerous an taping it off

NSW SES Manly Unit and NSW SES Mosman Unit rescued a storm water grate that had been washed away at Fairy Bower Pool; a potentially dangerous situation if a child had fallen in:

The Bureau of Meteorology's 2024 Autumn Long-Range Forecast, issued on February 29, states there is a roughly equal chance of above or below median rainfall for most parts of eastern New South Wales including Sydney, the Hunter and South Coast.