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Voice of Real Australia: Leaky roofs and rising flood waters as the east coast takes a hit

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NSW SES volunteers from Kiama rescued six cows from floodwaters south of Nowra on Monday afternoon. The team accessed the property using a flood boat and moved the cattle to higher ground. Photo: NSW SES

NSW SES volunteers from Kiama rescued six cows from floodwaters south of Nowra on Monday afternoon. The team accessed the property using a flood boat and moved the cattle to higher ground. Photo: NSW SES

There's a running joke between my husband and I that it's never once rained on his birthday. It's funny because he's from Scotland - where it tends to rain... quite a lot.

So when I convinced him to move to my homeland of Australia three years ago, the pressure was on to make sure the run of blue-sky birthdays in July continued. So far so good.

But this year came close to breaking the tradition, as those glorious sun-drenched winter days last week soon turned to a dramatic weather front, severely lashing the east coast.

The past few days has seen the SES on high alert as they answered rescue calls. Some were out in their wet suits and geared up to rescue those caught in the quick-rising flood waters.

Even the cows needed rescuing as one paddock turned to a river near Nowra on the NSW South Coast.

The Kiama SES team helped rescue two drivers stuck in floodwater at Jamberro. Picture: NSW SES

The Kiama SES team helped rescue two drivers stuck in floodwater at Jamberro. Picture: NSW SES

As of yesterday, there were 83 calls for assistance in the Illawarra, including three men in two different incidents that needed to be rescued from their cars stuck in floodwater.

The wild weather forced a COVID-19 testing clinic in Southern NSW to close for safety reasons and in Newcastle things got pretty desperate when four people were rescued from floodwaters on Sunday afternoon as heavy rain swept across the city.

The SES made eight flood rescues in Newcastle that evening, including a number of children rescued from a bus that became stranded in floodwater.

Up to 150 millimetres of rain has fallen across parts of the east coast since Sunday, leaving many to contend with with leaky roofs and flooded roads as people are urged not to walk, ride or drive through flood waters.

The message from SES is very clear 'if it's flooded, forget it'.

Wind gusts of up to 80 kilometres an hour have also been recorded by the Bureau of Meteorology, and are forecast to persist today.

But beyond that, we should start to see sunnier skies come Wednesday. But it won't be the last of the winter wet weather.

The weekend rainfall was the second major weather event to hit the NSW Mid Coast during July, with strong winds and damaging surf battering the region earlier in the month.

It's led to significant erosion for some east coast beaches, with more than six metres of foreshore smashed during the large seas near Hawks Nest.

A serious soaking: SES units across the Mid Coast were forced to patch a number of leaking roofs in the heavy rain. Photo portnews.com.au

A serious soaking: SES units across the Mid Coast were forced to patch a number of leaking roofs in the heavy rain. Photo portnews.com.au

In parts of North Queensland, the dry season has been anything but, as heavy rain drenched the region last week.

South of Townsville in Alligator Creek, they received some 48mm in one hour, which is about three times their average July rainfall according Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Rosa Hoff, and the highest total in all of Queensland.

But it's a very different tune for some parts of the country who haven't seen a decent drop out of this weather system.

In particular, South Australia has experienced one of its driest July's on record, while much of western Victoria is also well below its average rainfall.

Problems are starting to emerge with the South Australian winter crops, now desperate for rain.

But in a promising forecast for future rain, BoM's climate outlook for the August to October period shows we could be in for a wetter-than-average few months across most of the country.

Fingers crossed the weather man is right and the rain heads to where it's needed most.

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