Homes of 85,000 people at risk, but rain eases around Sydney
SYDNEY (AP) — Floodwaters had inundated or were threatening the homes of 85,000 people around Sydney on Wednesday as rivers started to recede and the heavy rains tracked north of Australia’s largest city. While rain was easing across Sydney, several waterways including the Hawkesbury-Nepean rivers system on Sydney’s northern and western fringes remained at major flood levels, Emergency Services Minister Steph Cooke said. Emergency responders knocked on doors overnight in the towns of Singleton and Muswellbrook, in the Hunter Valley north of Sydney, to order residents to evacuate, she said. “For many, it has been a sleepless night,” Cooke said. Evacuation orders and official warnings to prepare to abandon homes were given to 85,000 people by Wednesday, up from 50,000 on Tuesday, New South Wales state Premier Dominic Perrottet said.