While on the west coast the weather has been rather pleasant with a few cases of overcast and frequent showers, on the other half of the world, the downpours are unmatched. In Eastern Australia, Sydney’s largest dam has overflowed, leading thousands of citizens to evacuate immediately. For the past couple of days, the city has been experiencing fierce rain, the precipitation totaling up for enough water to fill an entire harbor.
This extreme weather was completely unexpected, considering the region has been experiencing bushfires throughout the year. The flooding has been labelled as “life-threatening” and isn’t suspected to die down until Thursday. While most areas familiar with cold climates are accustomed to snow days, Sydney’s population will be taking breaks due to a less common case. People were cautioned to avoid commuting to work and many schools are closing as a result.
Just like the unprecedented weather changes, many people throughout the city have been seeing and experiencing some bizarre situations. One couple, arranged to wed on the day the flood struck, watched their rented house get pushed along by a wave of water. The groom-to-be, Peter Bowie, recounts, “It literally floated like a houseboat, the whole house, fully intact. It went nearly a kilometer all intact. This house just lifted up and floated down the river.” Meanwhile, various cattle have been spotted in rural areas following the flooding of farms. At least one cow was saved by a surf lifesaver after it was seen struggling in the river.
The city was completely caught off-guard having not expected such severe rain. The New South Wales premier, Gladys Berejiklian, communicates her distress, “Yesterday, we were hoping it would only be a one-in-20-year event, now it looks like a one-in-50 year event.” Berejiklian is right on the nose with that statement, considering such disastrous flooding has not hit the city since 1961. People were evacuated to emergency shelters due to the unlivable conditions of most houses. The flooding continued to extend throughout Wales, targeting Queensland and then Brisbane. Thankfully, warnings were sent out, allowing individuals enough time to prepare for a possible emergency.