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BoM predicts more storms as Penrith hit with one month's rain in half an hour

By Angelique Lu, Thursday October 18, 2018 - 13:51 EDT
ABC licensed image
The flash flooding left its mark on Penrith. - ABC licensed

The heavens opened hard and fast in western Sydney last night, with some areas receiving a month's worth of rain in half an hour.

In Penrith, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) recorded a total of 61.4 millimetres in half an hour, much more than the area's October average of 51mm.

There is less than a 1 per cent chance of that level of rain in Penrith, the BOM said, describing it as a "fairly rare event for that location".

The downpour sparked flash flooding, and one person needed to be rescued from a car stuck in floodwaters on Castlereagh Street

John-Luc Miller, from the NSW State Emergency Service (SES) said the car's driver had already left by the time they arrived.

"Council has gone through that area quite a few times and increased the drain size there because it has been a problem in the past," he said.

"They typically need Fire and Rescue pumpers to come and pump it out when it gets to that stage.

"The flash flooding came through so quickly and the drain couldn't handle the volume of water."

In the 24-hour period beginning at 9.00am yesterday, Penrith received a total of 75mm.

More rain expected

Eland on the State's mid-north coast received the most rainfall with 78.2mm.

Sydney, the Hunter region and the rest of the mid-north coast received about 30 to 40mm in the deluge.

The SES received 80 calls for help in 24 hours across the state, with 63 of those coming from Sydney's west.

Andrew Haigh from the BoM said the rain was likely to continue in the east of the state and people should watch for severe thunderstorm warnings.

"The atmosphere is fairly well primed for the development of thunderstorms so we're likely to get more today," he said.

Mr Simms said the SES were preparing for similar conditions and urged people to use common sense when driving.

"If we see rainfall like we did yesterday, we may see some localised flooding and flooded roads," he said.

Despite the warnings, many in the State — which has been grappling with a long-running drought — will be welcoming the rain.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries said

That figure was down slightly from August, when it was 100 per cent.


© ABC 2018

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