Australia SES slams NSW driver behaviour during floods 'completely unacceptable'
DRC: at least 4 dead in deadly floods in Kinshasa
© Pascal Mulegwa / RFI New floods in the city of Kinshasa, in DRC, on March 16, 2021. Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo has yet was hit by flooding on Tuesday after heavy rains fell there all morning. At least four people have died in the floods. And in several neighborhoods, residents have woken up with their feet in the water in an increasingly expanding city.
More than 2,000 rescues may be needed in a matter of days unless motorists in New South Wales stop recklessly driving through floodwaters during the state's historic storm event, authorities have warned.
NSW Emergency Services Minister David Elliott said SES crews had received '4,000 distress calls' and made 500 rescues by 3pm on Saturday since the storm began.
He said he expected the rescues to continue, mainly due to people driving into deep water.
'It is completely unacceptable,' Mr Elliott said.
If the current behaviour of NSW drivers continued, Mr Elliott warned, the SES was on track to have to make an extraordinary 2000 rescues by Wednesday.
Hundreds of Aussies call for help as flash flooding pummels homes
Hundreds of terrified residents across NSW could lose their homes as flash flooding pummels houses, with emergency experts warning people to stay indoors or evacuate. With unrelenting rainfall up of to 100mm, parts of NSW's coast have already been ordered to evacuate due to the wild weather stretching from the mid-north coast of NSW down to Illawarra, south of Sydney.NSW State Emergency Service (SES) has ordered evacuations in suburbs including Taree, Dungog, Wingham, Port Macquarie and Laurieton.
'So far that's 500 specialist SES crews that have put their lives at risk because people have not heeded the warnings,' Mr Elliott said.
'If the trajectory is correct... we're going to be looking at 2,000 flood rescues by Wednesday.'
'The SES are volunteers. So please do not give them grief if they can't turn up right away. They are putting their lives at risk, with no thought of reward or recognition, to save yours.'
He said drivers should not be driving through floodwater if they cannot see the road underneath.
The service responsible for issuing the driving public with updates, Live Traffic NSW, was continually issuing advice to drivers on Saturday.
Almost all included the warning: 'Do not drive through floodwater. Stay away. Delay your journey.'
On Saturday evening, the SES was still pleading with road users on its Facebook page: 'Never walk, ride or drive through flood water. If it’s flooded forget it.'
Businesses will be able to access grants following NSW floods .
Businesses in flood-affected areas across NSW will be able to access grants and bank loans to fund their recovery.Mr Morrison announced a loan scheme would be extended to small and medium business as he visited the SES headquarters in western Sydney on Saturday morning.