Australia has been battling unprecedented and destructive bushfires for weeks, seemingly with no end in sight. Now, heavy rains have brought relief to those fighting the blazes, along with other problems — widespread flooding and travel woes.
The NSW Rural Fire Service called the recent rainfall “the most positive news we’ve had in some time” and said it has assisted firefighters in extinguishing 30 fires since Friday, which have caused months of devastating damage to ecosystems and neighbourhoods.
In the last day, the region has seen more than 7.9 inches of rainfall, according to the country’s Bureau of Meteorology. Some 15.4 inches of rain fell over the past four days in Sydney — the most significant amount seen in the last 30 years.
After years of drought, water supplies in the region have also been replenished. The Warragamba Dam — which supplies most of Sydney’s water — is nearly 65% full after one of the driest years on record.
But the country’s fire-ravaged east coast is now under a severe weather warning and evacuation orders are in place. Tens of thousands of people were without power across the area. The heavy rainfall has caused flash flooding and travel disruptions.