Evacuations ordered in NSW flooding

Sydney's Warragamba Dam is overflowing and is expected to keep spilling water for up to a week.
Sydney's Warragamba Dam is overflowing and is expected to keep spilling water for up to a week.

An evacuation order has been issued to residents of towns along the Hunter River in NSW as rising floodwaters threaten power and water services.

People along within the Whittingham, Scotts Flat, Glenridding, Dunolly and Combo areas had to evacuate the high danger area by 7pm on Saturday, the State Emergency Service said.

Widespread heavy rainfall led to flooding across much of the state.

Rain eased on Saturday afternoon, with not much forecast for Sunday.

However, the statewide situation remains volatile, with numerous watches and warnings active following a month of heavy rainfall.

More than 30 people have been rescued from floodwaters since Friday lunchtime. The SES has received more than 745 requests for help.

In the central west, Eugowra residents are being told to prepare to evacuate as water levels rise along the Mandagery Creek.

Canowindra near Orange is on alert with major flooding possible on Sunday morning.

In the Hunter, major flooding is on the cards in Singleton for Sunday morning, and Maitland is also on alert.

On Monday, the Macquarie River at Warren could also reach major heights.

Areas of major concern include along the Namoi River at Gunnedah, in the state's northeast, and the Castlereagh River around Coonamble in the central west.

The Bureau of Meteorology said some areas of the state were hit with more than 100mm of rain on Friday.

On Saturday evening, there were major flood warnings for the Lachlan at Jemalong and the Namoi at Narrabri and Wee Waa, where it's feared residents could be cut off for more than a week.

Sydney's Warragamba Dam began spilling shortly after 9pm on Friday.

WaterNSW said the outflow volume could peak at a rate of about 60-80 gigalitres per day, just a fraction of levels in March that peaked at 500 gigalitres per day.

"On current projections the spill could continue for up to a week," WaterNSW said in a statement on Saturday, adding "downstream impacts are likely".

A flood watch is in place for the Hawkesbury Nepean Valley in western Sydney.

Premier Dominic Perrottet on Saturday urged residents to follow safety advice and avoid driving through flooding,

The number of flood rescues performed by SES volunteers was "way too high", he said.

"Those rescues take place in the main because people aren't following the instructions, they're driving through floodwaters. Don't do that. Follow the advice, that's the best way to stay safe."

Police said a LandCruiser was swept from a small causeway and carried 200 metres downstream by rising waters at Burrell Creek, west of Taree, on Friday afternoon.

Two men waded in to rescue the 65-year-old trapped driver but also became stranded. The trio were eventually hauled to safety by five police officers who fashioned a lasso from a length of rope.

Hunter Valley police also dragged a 52-year-old man from a spillway at Muswellbrook after his Toyota HiLux was swept 400m away by the current on Friday evening.

An RFS helicopter rescued a man trapped on the roof of his car in floodwaters at Caroona on the northeastern Liverpool Plains earlier on Friday.

Australian Associated Press