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Residents evacuated after driveway collapses from heavy rain on Sydney's northern beaches

By Michelle Brown and Philippa McDonald, Tuesday August 19, 2014 - 21:22 EST
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It may be days before residents can return home. - ABC

A block of flats at Collaroy on Sydney's northern beaches has been evacuated after part of its driveway sank due to heavy rain.

Heavy rain overnight caused the driveway to collapse and ruptured a gas main at a construction site next door, in Frazer Street, Collaroy.

Twenty residents, most from a block of apartments above the large hole of the construction site have been evacuated.

Police, firefighters and search and rescue teams were working together with engineers to watch for any more landslips.

Lasers have been directed on to the site to monitor any movement.

Police said it could be days before the residents can return home.

Superintendent John Duncan said soil was still falling in around the hole but residents had been allowed in as needed.

"Obviously there's very technical equipment, they're able to monitor things very, very closely with laser monitors and the like," he said.

"We are letting people go back in to get their property ... it's not like it's falling in a hole straight away but at this point in time there's been no injuries and we intend to keep it that way."

Trucks are expected to arrive on Wednesday with massive amounts of soil to try and fill the hole.

Authorities said there was no risk to the adjacent building but residents had been moved as a safety precaution.

Residents have also been allowed to move their cars out of the carpark in case the driveway further collapses.

Heavy rain and wild winds caused a large tree to fall onto a parked car outside a home in Winston Hills in western Sydney, while two more had to be cleared by State Emergency Service (SES) crews in the southern suburb Sutherland.

SES crews have been helping residents mostly deal with trees, flooding and leaking roofs.

On average, between 100-200 millimetres of rain fell across NSW, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

In Sydney, 159 millimetres was recorded at Audley in the Royal National Park while 146 mm of rain fell at Wahroonga on Sydney's Upper North Shore.

In the Illawarra, Robertson recorded 316 mm while 264 mm was recorded at Porters Creek on the South Coast.

A flood warning in the Southern Highlands has now been lifted.

The Wollondilly River was threatening to break its banks at Towrang, near Goulburn, but the water level has now dropped.

In country New South Wales the rain has cut many roads across the west and northwest of the state.

A gale warning remains for Sydney, the Illawarra, Coffs Coast, Macquarie Coast and Hunter Coast with strong winds still expected for Sydney Closed Waters, Byron Coast, Batemans coast and Eden coast.

The severe weather warning that had been in place since Sunday is no longer current.


© ABC 2014

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