AN APARTMENT building in Sydney’s inner west has been evacuated, as it threatens to collapse into a flooded water hole behind it.
A member of the public reported concerns for the Marrickville building’s structural integrity, after drenching rains fell across the city this morning.
NSW State Emergency Service volunteers, police and rescue firefighters were called to assess the three level apartment building in Ewart Street about 1.30pm.
They evacuated 17 residents, who are unlikely to return tonight, but say the building is not likely to collapse.
Initial reports from emergency services were that up to 100 people could be inside.
The call was just one of several fielded by the state’s emergency crews this morning, after more than a month’s worth of rain fell in some parts of Sydney.
The deluge caused widespread flash flooding, road closures and transport chaos.
NSW SES spokeswoman Becky Golling told news.com.au a member of the public phoned emergency services to report the precarious situation of the Marrickville apartment building.
“Police and also Fire and Rescue are on scene, assessing situation to see how serious it is,” she said.
“They are trying to determine whether this building will collapse in to a water hole behind building.”
Marrickville resident Geoff, who reported the incident to the SES, told Fairfax Media: “I’ve never seen anything like the rain today”.
SES crews were called throughout the morning to rescue motorists from flood waters and repair damaged homes.
There were 13 calls for rescue, mainly in the city’s inner west, which copped the worst of the rainfall and a further 140 to damaged homes.
Among them was a house in Tennyson Point, in Sydney’s north west, where the front part of a home collapsed.
No-one was home at the time.
The deluge also caused extensive delays across the public transport network, with bus, train and light rail services all impacted.
Inner west buses were delayed by up to an hour at the peak of the flooding and some roads across the city remain closed or gridlocked as rains continue to fall.
The weather bureau is forecasting the rain to continue falling throughout the day and into tomorrow.
A severe thunderstorm warning was issued just before midday but cancelled an hour later.
There remains in place a thunderstorm warning for heavy rainfall and damaging winds.
Flooded roads caused chaos for motorists and there are continuing delays on bus and train routes.
James Ruse Drive and Parramatta Rd flooded and the Anzac Bridge was gridlocked, though traffic started moving again when floodwaters subsided.
Buses to and from Drummoyne and Rozelle were suffering delays of up to an hour at the peak of the rainfall due to being diverted around Anzac Bridge.
As of 2pm, there remained residual delays of up to 30 minutes on those routes.
Trains on the T2 line were not stopping at Lewisham station due to flooding in the subway but resumed about 1.30pm.
Flights have also been impacted at the airport, where heavy rain has fallen.
A Fire and Rescue NSW spokeswoman told The Daily Telegraph crews had been swamped with requests for help, as the storm caused roofs to cave in, homes to flood and cars to become trapped.
“On Wentworth Rd in Glebe the water has been reported up to one metre deep and there are requests for a vehicle to be towed out,” the spokeswoman said.
“We urge people to stay away from flood waters and not risk their safety by trying to drive through flood waters or walk through them.”
The city, the inner west and the east suffered the heaviest falls.
More than 50mm has fallen at the city’s Observatory Hill meteorological site since 9am, while the airport has had 30mm.
Nearby Canterbury has had 51.2mm.
There were flight delays, diversions and cancellations at Sydney Airport.
More is on the way, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.
A severe thunderstorm warning was issued just before noonbut cancelled an hour later.
However, a warning for heavy rainfall and damaging wind remains.
Forecaster Mohammed Nabi said more heavy rain is expected throughout the day and into tomorrow.
“The thunderstorms combined with the humid air over the city is causing this,” he told the Daily Telegraph.
“When you get these sorts of downfalls, they can cause flash flooding in built-up areas.”
The rainfall came as initial welcome relief for Sydneysiders, after a sweltering heatwave swept across the city late last week and across the weekend.
Temperatures in the city reached the mid to high 30s across most of the weekend and barely dropped below the mid 20s most nights.
However, the relief soon turned to frustration for many residents, with heavy rain impacting morning commutes for many inner city residents.
Online Source: News.com.au