“The Nepean River at Penrith is currently at 4.72 metres and falling, above the minor flood level of 3.9 metres. The [river] may fall below the minor flood level on Saturday evening,” the bureau said.

Minor flooding had eased along the Upper Nepean River in south-west Sydney. The Nepean River at the Menangle Bridge was 4.44 metres and falling, below the minor flood level, at 4pm on Saturday.

Richmond Bridge and Yarramundi Bridge in north-west Sydney remained closed on Saturday afternoon. The Menangle Bridge and Cobbitty Bridge in the city’s south-west, had reopened.

The bureau had downgraded an earlier warning for major flooding at North Richmond after heavy rain caused Warragamba Dam to spill on Friday morning.

On Saturday, the bureau said no further significant rainfall was forecast over the next few days.

About 160 millimetres of rain fell over the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley in the 24 hours to Friday morning. The State Emergency Service said there were 13 flood rescues overnight on Friday, and 297 incidents in the 24 hours to 5am on Saturday.

The Warragamba Dam started spilling at 4.20am on Friday.

The Warragamba Dam started spilling at 4.20am on Friday.Credit: Nick Moir

Residents in low-lying areas of the Nepean River were warned at 4.20am on Friday that Warragamba Dam had begun to spill. It is the third consecutive month the dam has spilled.

The dam supplies 80 per cent of Sydney’s drinking water and releasing water to reduce storage levels and mitigate flooding ahead of predicted rainfall is not permitted.

Platz said residents along the Hawkesbury River had been well-prepared, but urged them to ensure they were ready for future floods.

“We do not need to see significant rain to bring riverine and flash flooding,” she said.

“As we have saturated catchments and full dams the rivers can rise very quickly.

“Every flood is different, so it is important you download the Hazards Near Me app to stay across the latest information and warnings.”


The SES said floods along the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley were at the end of an “intense weather event” in NSW. “More than 2000 volunteers responded to more than 800 incidents and undertook 58 flood rescues around the state,” the service said on Saturday.

An evacuation centre was operating at the Richmond Club, at 6 East Market Street in Richmond.

Emergency Services Minister Jihad Dib said while the total rainfall had been less than previous major flooding incidents, the impact had been significant.

“The fact of the matter is our dams are full, our waterways are full, and our grounds are saturated,” he said.

“So the impact of the rain we’re having at any given time is having a much more profound effect.”

Angus Hines, a senior meteorologist at the bureau, said the low-pressure systems in the south-east of Australia were set to move away and take the rain with them from Saturday.

“Over the past couple of days some places around southern Sydney and in the Illawarra have seen 200 to 300mm, about two months’ worth of rainfall, in less than three days,” he said.

“Because we did see that heavy rain, there are still likely to be some flood warnings in play as these river levels are running really high at the moment on the back of that rainfall.”