Australia: Torrential rains end major wildfire, leads to flooding


Torrential rain across Australia's east could extinguish all remaining bushfires in the country's most populous state by the end of the week, authorities said on Tuesday, raising hopes a deadly national crisis is nearly over.

James Jackson, the president of NSW Farmers, told Reuters: "This one event won't replenish the whole soil moisture profile".

In the early morning hours of Monday, heavy floods flooded Milperra and Liverpool in western Sydney, the NSW State Emergency Service said.

Firefighters battling Australia's devastating wildfires are getting some help from the weather in New South Wales.

One of these is the Currowan Fire, burning 200 km south of Sydney and 90 km east of Canberra, where it remained active for 74 days, burned almost half a million hectares, destroyed 312 houses and damaged another 173.

"This rain will continue in this area, but it will be more like showers".

Professor Grafton added that they'll start to learn a bit more about how useful the rain has been through closely monitoring the rivers in the area over the next few days. The state's bushfire season, which began in September 2019, could run until as late as April.

Speaking to Metro, Grafton explained: "At this stage, it's very good news, and certainly much more than people could have wished for or expected".

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The Warragamba Dam, which supplies most of Sydney's water, is heading towards being 70% full, says WaterNSW.

Like many other rural towns, Dubbo has been beset by duststorms and subjected to water restrictions on the back of a three-year drought.

"Severe weather conditions have affected roads and transport infrastructure across the state including flooding, trees in overhead wiring and backing tracks, external power supply issues and signal equipment repairs causing extended delays across train lines and many roads", Chief Operations Officer for Transport NSW Howard Collins said in a statement.

Australia which has been devastated by bushfires and droughts is now largely covered in water after huge amounts of rain has fallen since Wednesday last week.

Officials have renewed wet weather warnings for parts of the coast and the neighbouring state of Queensland, but said the heaviest downpours had passed by Tuesday.

Ausgrid was racing to restore power to up to 13,000 home in northern suburbs of Sydney including Hornsby and Pymble, parts of the Central Coast including Ourimbah, Avoca and Wyong and a number of pockets in Greater Sydney, Newcastle and the Hunter.

Government agencies have warned that high tides forecast for the coming days - known as king tides - could further worsen the flooding.