The Illawarra South Coast Region extends from the east coast of NSW to include Wingecarribee in the west. The region includes Wollongong in the north and extends down to the NSW / Vic border in the south.
Events and Activities
Visit these events to meet your local NSW SES members and learn about Flood, Storm and Tsunami Safety.
Emergency Service day / Community Engagment day
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Historically Significant Storms
The Wollongong Storm and Flash Flood of August 17, 1998
Severe flash flooding occurred as a result of rainfall which fell over several creek
catchments which were already saturated as a result of falls over the previous three days. More than 200mm was recorded at some locations in the three hours from 5.00pm on August 17.
Many of the creeks which drain eastwards from the escarpment overflowed, and sheet flooding occurred away from the creeks as well. More than 1500 dwellings sustained structural and/or contents damage, most of them in locations close to creeks (where considerable flood depths and high velocities of flow occurred) but some at considerable distances from them.
About 1600 people had to evacuate on the night of the flooding and several rescues were carried out. About 90 dwellings were so badly damaged that they were later condemned. Hundreds of cars, most of them parked in streets, were written off, and many commercial premises and community facilities sustained severe flood damage.
The areas of most serious damage were Figtree, Keiraville, North Wollongong, Fairy Meadow, Corrimal, Bellambi and Thirroul. Large amounts of coal wash escaped from emplacements into creeks, exacerbated the structural damage to buildings and blocked residential streets. Many streets and the roads up the escarpment suffered pavement damage. Some creek banks were severely scoured. The heavy rain also caused landslips along the escarpment which necessitated further evacuations.
A very large clean-up operation was undertaken, involving the NSW SES, Rural Fire Service and NSW Fire Brigades personnel. Many came from outside the Illawarra area. The work performed included much cleaning out of mud and sodden household contents and took nearly a week to carry out.
The insurance payout in the months following the storm was over $100M and included many ex gratia payments. The total damage has been estimated at about $125M.