Record rainfall across NSW welcomed, amid flood and damage warnings


Parts of New South Wales have received their largest rainfall since 2011, with areas in north and northeastern parts of the state recording 126 millimetres of rainfall.

Despite high rainfalls across the state, NSW emergency services have reported a "relatively quiet period" with only a smattering of call-outs for flash flooding and leaking roofs.

NSW SES Assistant Commissioner Paul Bailey told reporters on Friday there had been 323 call-outs, including some for surface flooding in Parkes and Dubbo in the state's central west.

"We've repositioned some of our teams, our swift water teams, to ensure that the flash flooding that's been spoken of will be managed correctly," Mr Bailey said.

Pedestrians hold umbrellas as they walk in heavy rain in Sydney's CBD.
Pedestrians hold umbrellas as they walk in heavy rain in Sydney's CBD.

Mr Bailey said fire-affected areas may see an increase in tree falls due to weakened soil, debris flowing into creeks and flash flooding due to a lack of vegetation.

"We do ask people to be vigilant but not terribly alarmed about that and, as has been said, this rain is welcomed in those areas so we are expecting there to be only a few issues regarding this rain going forward," he said.

Bureau of Meteorology acting state manager Grahame Reader told reporters widespread showers and thunderstorms across the state will continue into next week.

Boonanghi in the state's mid-north recorded its highest rainfall since March 2017 with 126mm and Bundarra in the Northern Tablelands received 105mm, its best since November 2011.

Mr Reader said heavy rainfall will continue throughout the state on Friday, with fairly similar conditions predicted for Saturday and showers easing on Sunday.

"We'd be looking at cumulative rainfall, in addition to what we've had today until Sunday, of around 30 to 80mm," he said.

The NSW Rural Fire Service welcomed the rain on large firegrounds but warned it wasn't the end of the bushfire crisis.

"It won't put all these fires out but certainly it's slowed them right down and I think it's given a significant morale boost," RFS deputy commissioner Rob Rogers told the Seven Network on Friday.

"We've had rainfall on most fires now - at least 10mm - and particularly in the south in areas where it's harder to get to, in the Kosciuszko ranges. They're the ones we're quite happy there's been some rainfall."

On Friday afternoon there were 79 NSW bushfires burning - down from 88 on Wednesday evening - with about 30 still out of control.

'Liquid gold'

Sydneysiders and tourists alike welcomed the 'much needed' rain, describing it as "liquid gold", "a sight for sore eyes". 

One tourist said they "couldn't be happier", rejoicing in the "sweet sound of salvation".

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