Georges River Flood Information

Georges River Floods


Georges River Flood Extent Map

Please use the map below to see how your location (home, business or somewhere you visit) may be affected by possible flooding on the Georges River.

The above map is specific to the possible highest riverine flood risk on the Georges River only. Data from Flood Studies conducted by Local Councils have been used to create the flood extent shown on the map.  

Every flood is different. The extent depicted on this map is an indication of the highest possible flood that could occur on the Georges River. Smaller floods on the Georges River will happen more frequently. It is important to be ready for floods as they can happen at any time of the year. 

There are other flood impacts in this area, from other rivers, creeks and tributaries and from localised heavy rainfall and flash flooding. Further flood studies and modelling needs to occur for more detailed information to be included.  

Historical flood data exists for localised areas of the Georges River and data from Local Flood Studies also exist. Work is currently being done to develop flood data. As flood data is updated and made publicly available for this area, the NSW SES will update this map. 

It is important to know if you are impacted by floods or if roads and areas you travel to are impacted, so that you can prepare for what you will do in future floods.  

You can search for addresses and places within the Local Government Areas (LGAs) impacted by floods on the Georges River. For property-level flood information, please contact your Local Council. (See Georges River Councils below). 

Disclaimer:

The information contained in this publication is based on knowledge and understanding at the time of compilation (2021). However, because of advances in knowledge, users are reminded of the need to ensure that information upon which they rely is up to date. NSW State Emergency Service takes no responsibility for the accuracy, currency, reliability and correctness of any information in the map (including, without limitation, any of the information provided by third parties) nor for the accuracy, currency, reliability and correctness of links or references to information sources with regard to the map. While all reasonable care has been taken in the compilation, to the extent permitted by law, NSW State Emergency Service and the State of New South Wales and its employees and agents exclude all liability for the accuracy or completeness of the information, or for any injury, loss, or damage whatsoever (including without limitation liability for negligence and consequential losses) suffered by any person acting, or purporting to act in reliance upon anything contained herein.

 

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Know your Risk

What is the Flood Risk on the Georges River?


The Georges River has a long history of flooding. Not all of the historical floods on the Georges River have been the same. In fact, even though flood extents can be modelled, floods can be different every time. On the Georges River, flooding does not occur in any form of sequence as flooding can happen quickly and at the same time across different locations along the river.

Even higher floods than what has happened before can occur, impacting many residents, businesses and travellers to the area.

The main floodplain for the Georges River is between Glenfield and East Hills in Liverpool, Fairfield and Canterbury-Bankstown Local Government Areas.  There are different influences across the Georges River catchment in these areas. Flooding is fairly unique on the Georges River as the lower reaches of the river (from East Hills downstream) is confined to a narrow gorge which acts as a restriction during large floods. A further small gorge towards the outlet of the river creates additional adverse effects on flooding, as water cannot disperse quickly. Effects from these gorges results in a wide variety of flood inundation heights, depths and flow speeds across different locations along the river and in flood impacted areas. The only outlet for floodwater on the Georges River is through Botany Bay.  

Different weather systems can cause flooding on the Georges River, including what is known as an East Coast Low. East Coast Lows can deliver heavy rainfall across the catchment area, causing overland flow, flash flooding and waterways to break their banks, including for the Georges River and other creeks and tributaries which flow into the River. The extent of flooding is influenced by the intensity and/or duration of this rainfall.  Tidal levels can also contribute to the extent of flooding along parts of the Georges River. 

This is why it is important to be aware of flooding in areas you live, work and visit. 

The Georges River has several major tributaries that influence flood behaviour in the valley, including 

  • Bunburry Curran Creek
  • Cabramatta Creek
  • Prospect Creek
  • Harris and Williams Creeks
  • Salt Pan Creek and
  • Woronora River

Local Councils do flood studies to determine the risks and the NSW SES write Flood Plans based on these studies. There is currently work being done to combine these pieces of work and create a catchment wide Flood Plan for the Georges River.

The Georges River has flooded before. It will happen again.

 

Visit the Georges Riverkeeper website for more information on floods on the Georges River.

What are the Impacts of Floods on the Georges River?


The Georges River has a long history of flooding.

During the late 1800’s, records indicate significantly large events which caused great concern within the area. This saw the community within the floodplain experience a large number of minor, moderate and major flood events including a flood with a 1% chance happening every year (1 in 100-year flood event), which was recorded in 1873. This flood saw water heights rise above 10 metres with homes reported to have been washed away in the current.

Smaller recorded flood events occurred during the early 1800’s.

The largest flood on record over the last 100 years was the 1956 flood, when over 300 mm of rain fell across three days in the Georges River catchment. This resulted in the flooding of 1,000 homes and the evacuation of 8,000 people. Reports describe people being rescued from rooftops of homes, climbing there because of the rapidly rising floodwater. This flood is relatively small compared to other historical floods that have occurred.

Other large floods have been recorded during the 1900’s particularly in 1986, when over 320 mm of rain fell in a 24 hour period (the usual annual rainfall in the area is roughly in the vicinity of 870mm). This resulted in 6 deaths and 10,000 homes being damaged.

Larger floods are possible on the Georges River. It is not a question of if, but when these will happen.

 

 

 Visit the Georges Riverkeeper website for more information on floods on the Georges River.

 

General Information on Floods


Every flood is different and floods can change quickly.

Even the terms and language used to talk about, plan for and deal with floods can seem strange. There is an explanation of some of the terms used at the bottom of this page.

Floods are a natural occurrence in the Australian landscape. They are necessary for the health of our river ecosystems. Many of our farmlands have rich and fertile soil because of the flooding that happens in Australia. It is when the environments we build intersect with this natural occurrence, that we can find disasters which impact on our lives and livelihoods.

Knowing the flood potential of where you live, work and visit in Australia is important to keep yourself, your family and others safe during floods.

Visit the NSW SES Flood pages for more information on floods. These pages contain information on:

  • How NSW SES plans for Floods, Storms and Tsunami
  • Knowing your risk and planning for floods
  • How to be aware of flood triggers
  • The dangers of flash flooding
  • How to look out for each other
  • Flooding in rural areas
  • Using sandbags
  • Levees
  • Recovery after floods

Flood Terms

Flash Flood: Flooding which is rapid and often unexpected because it is caused by sudden local or nearby heavy rainfall.

Flood: Relatively high water level which overtops the natural or artificial banks in any part of a stream, river, estuary, lake or dam.

Overland Flow: Overland flow happens when a lot of rain and water runs across the land. These are natural paths that water likes to flow along and into stormwater drains or local creeks after running off neighbouring properties and driveways or rising from the ground.

 

 

Local Videos

The River will flood again. That's a fact.


Hear from local NSW SES volunteers and community members about the flood risks on the Georges River and how to prepare your home and business.

 

Georges River Flood Risk: Floods will happen again 

Meet Michael, a Local NSW SES Deputy Unit Commander. Flooding on the Georges River will happen again. That’s a Fact. Residents and businesses along the Georges River need to know their flood risk. Find out more about your local risk.

 

 

 

Visit the NSW SES Georges River Flood Map

 

Georges River Flood Risk: Simple steps to plan.

Meet Washington and Nancy, local NSW SES unit members. Residents and businesses along the Georges River need to know their flood risk and have a plan. Just a little preparation can save lives. Take your first step to get prepared.

 

 

Find out more on how to best prepare by visiting the Things you can do Before a Flood webpage

 

Where to get information and know when to act 

Meet Hiendat, a local NSW SES unit member. The Georges River has a long history of flooding. Residents and businesses need to know how to stay informed and when to act. Flooding will happen again. That’s a fact. 

 

 

 

 Visit the NSW SES Be Aware webpage to know the warning signs of floods and when to act.

 

Talking with Friends and Loved ones - a Personal Flood Story

Meet Criss, a local community member from southwest Sydney. All communities living and working along the Georges River, need to know their flood risk. This can save your life and the lives of your loved ones. Find out about your flood risk and how to share this in your language.

 

 

Language resources are available on the NSW SES In Your Language webpage.

 

Business Preparedness for Floods

Meet Jenny, a local business owner in southwest Sydney. Businesses can take simple steps to get prepared and have a plan. The Georges River will flood again. That’s a fact. Find out more on how a little preparation can protect your business and livelihood.

 

 

 

Prepare a Business Emergency Plan by visiting: http://www.sesemergencyplan.com.au/

 

 

Preparing your Home and keeping you and your loved ones safe

Meet Annie, a local resident living on the Georges River. Floods on the Georges River can happen quickly. Know the warning signs for floods and act early to keep you and your family safe. The Georges River will flood again. That’s a fact. Find out more on how to prepare your home for flooding.

 

 

Prepare a Home Emergency Plan by visiting: http://www.sesemergencyplan.com.au/

Community Survey

NSW SES Disaster Awareness Survey


The NSW SES Georges River Disaster Awareness Survey is part of a broader awareness campaign about natural disasters and the risks you may face in your area.

The surveys have closed and a report on the results will be available in late 2021.

The surveys targeted people who live and work in the Local Government Areas (LGA) of Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Georges River, Fairfield, Bayside, Liverpool and Sutherland. 

More community surveys may be developed for future campaign and commuity engagement work, so keep an eye out for these if you live and work in these areas.

 



The NSW SES Privacy Statement is available in relation to participating in surveys.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) are also available on the surveys.

Preparing for Floods

Get Ready for Floods


If you live, work or visit flood prone areas in the Georges River area, there are steps you can take to prepare for floods. 

 

1. Know your Risk

  • Check the interactive map to see if where you live, work, travel through or visit is potentially impacted by floods.
  • Find out about the local flood history 
  • Know the heights at which your home, business and/or property could be affected by floodwater. Information specific to your property and potential flood risk may be available from your Local Council.
  • Talk with people who have been in the area a long time about their experiences of local floods. 
  • Be aware of the natural signs of flooding 
  • Know how you may be warned of possible flooding 

2. Plan for what you will do

  • To help households and businesses prepare for flooding, the NSW SES has developed FloodSafe Emergency Plans.
  • Plan where you will go. Find the safest route to travel in the event that you might need to evacuate and identify the height at which your evacuation route may be cut. Find out where any evacuation centres could be set up in your area. Check with friends and relatives outside the flood-prone area to organise a place to go. 
  • Practice your plan and share it with your friends, family and neighbours. 
  • Remember pets and other animals you may own in your Flood Plan.

3. Know who to call 

  • For help in floods and storms, call the NSW SES on 132 500 
  • In a life-threatening emergency, call Triple Zero (000) 
  • Keep a list of local emergency numbers handy. 

4. Get an Emergency Kit or Go-Bag together 

5. Know the triggers to take action 

  • Listen to local media for information updates and advice. 
  • The Bureau of Meteorology will issue Flood Warnings for the Georges River through their website. 
    • They will also issue Severe Thunderstorm Warnings and Severe Weather Warnings for weather which may cause flooding on the Georges River. 
  • The NSW SES will issue Local Flood Bulletins, Evacuation Warnings, Evacuation Orders and All Clears for areas impacted by floods on the Georges River and share these on the website. 
  • Look out for natural signs of flooding like heavy rainfall, and pooling or rushing water. 

6. Check that your insurance is suitable for your risk and up-to-date 

 

7. Look out for each other 

During a Flood

What to do During Floods


If your area is at risk, go to high ground away from flooded areas. 

 

Never enter floodwater. If it’s flooded, forget it. 

The major cause of death during floods is from people entering or travelling through floodwater. This includes driving, riding and walking through floodwater and children playing in floodwater. 

  • Floodwater may be deeper or faster flowing than it appears and contain hidden snags or debris. 
  • Floodwater may contain chemicals, raw sewage, snakes, spiders and much more that could cause illness and even death. 
  • Roads and surfaces underneath floodwater often wash away and may not be visible from the surface. 

 Never drive, ride or walk through floodwater. 

When a Flood Warning is issued 

  • Stack possessions, records, stock or equipment on benches and tables, placing electrical items on top. 
  • Secure objects that are likely to float and cause damage. 
  • Relocate waste containers, chemicals and poisons well above floor level. 
  • Activate your Home or Business FloodSafe Plan. 
  • Keep listening to your local radio station for information, updates and advice. 
  • Keep in contact with your neighbours. 
  • Be prepared to evacuate if advised by Emergency Services. 
  • Act early as roads may become congested or close. 
  • Never drive, ride or walk through floodwater. 

Download the During a Flood Fact sheet (2.2 MB) 

 

When an Evacuation Warning is issued 

When an Evacuation Warning is issued, you prepare to evacuate. Staying inside a house, even one which you think is high enough, may be very dangerous. If you are warned to evacuate it is always safest to move to a location away from the flood affected area before floodwater arrives. 

  • Locate important papers, valuables and mementos. Put them in your Emergency Kit. 
  • Keep listening to your local radio station for information, updates and advice. 
  • Follow instructions given to you by Emergency Services. 

Download the Evacuation Warning Fact sheet(1.9 MB) 

 

When an Evacuation Order is issued 

When an Evacuation Order is issued and you leave your house: 

  • Turn off the electricity and gas at the mains before you leave and turn off and secure any gas bottles. 
  • Take your pets with you. 
  • Never enter or travel through floodwater. 
  • Keep listening to your local radio station for information, updates and advice. 
  • Follow your Home or Business FloodSafe Plan. 
  • Follow all instructions given to you by Emergency Services. 
  • Stay with family or friends, if possible. 
  • Evacuation Centres may be set up if an Evacuation Order is issued.  
  • Choose the safest route to travel where roads along the route are open. 
  • Roads may become congested or close, ensure you leave enough time to travel safely. 

For information on roads, contact your local council for local road closures and Live Traffic NSW for major road closures. 

Download the Evacuation Order factsheet (1.9 MB) 

After a Flood

Returning to your Property, Clean up and Recovery


The NSW SES will issue an 'All Clear' when it is safe for residents and businesses to return to a flood affected area previously subject to an Evacuation Order. 

 

When returning to your property:  

  • Ensure the structural stability of your property before entering. Check for damage to windows, walls and the roof and be especially cautious of potential contaminants including asbestos. 
  • Contact utility companies for impacts on your essential services.  
  • Make sure the electricity and gas is turned off before going inside. Use a torch to carry out inspections inside buildings. 
  • If power points, electrical equipment, appliances or electrical hot water systems have been exposed to floodwater or are water damaged in any way, they must be inspected by a qualified electrician before use. 
  • Gas appliances and gas bottles that have been exposed to floodwater should be inspected for safety before use. 
  • Wear suitable protective clothing, including boots and gloves, when cleaning up. 
  • Be aware of any slip, trip or fall hazards. 
  • Never eat food which has been in contact with floodwater. 
  • Only use clean utensils and personal items. 
  • Have a supply of fresh drinking water. 

Useful tips and practical information to help households start the clean up: Cleaning up after a Flood 

Factsheets:

 

Next steps toward recovery 

The NSW SES has prepared aRecovery Guideto assist you to take the next steps towards recovery following a disaster. 

The transition to recovery can involve many personal considerations including but not limited to: 

  • power 
  • animals 
  • clean up 
  • repairs 
  • insurance 
  • your well-being 

At a community level, recovery often involves: 

  • the reconstruction of the physical infrastructure and 
  • the restoration of emotional, social, economic and physical wellbeing. 

In NSW, recovery from major disasters is managed by a wide range of organisations, including members of the State and Local Recovery Committees outlined in the NSW Recovery Plan. 

There are also a number ofDisaster Assistance Schemes that can help you get back on your feet following a disaster.  

The NSW GovernmentDisaster Assistance Guidelinesalso help inform the community, business, government, emergency services, councils, functional areas and those working in disaster recovery of the assistance available.  

 

Disaster Recovery Centres 

Disaster Recovery Centres may be established following some disasters.  

Recovery Centres may provide a range of welfare services, including financial assistance, personal support, organising temporary accommodation and providing information and referrals. If you have been affected by floods and require assistance, contact Disaster Welfare Services on 1800 018 444. 

 

About the Georges River

The Georges River Catchment


The Georges River is a beautiful part of the Sydney landscape and provides many opportunities for the community to relax, recreate and enjoy the natural environments the river provides. Like all rivers in Australia, the Georges River has a history of flooding. Flooding is a natural and healthy part of the Georges River and helps maintain the ecosystems around the river. Often, flooding can impact the communities who live, work and visit these locations. It is important to be aware of floods on the Georges River and how they can impact these communities.

We often talk about the Georges River catchment. A catchment is a land area where water is collected that feeds into a river. The catchment area for the Georges River is large, covering a landmass of approximately 1,000 square kilometres. Sometimes these catchment areas may not seem close to a river, but rainfall that occurs in these areas can feed into the flood effects of that river. Many people are not aware that they live in a catchment and that these areas are also impacted by floods directly or indirectly.

The Georges River itself is situated in Sydney's south and is approximately 100 kilometres long. The river flows through Liverpool, Chipping Norton Lake Scheme and then flows east through Bankstown and out to Botany Bay. This includes along the Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Bayside, Canterbury-Bankstown, Camden, Campbelltown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, Sutherland and Wollondilly. 

The Georges River is one of the most populated catchments in Australia, with approximately a quarter of Sydney’s inhabitants located here. There is a rich diversity of community, business and recreation areas in this location, attracting many people from outside the area. It is also known as one of the most severely flood prone areas in NSW. 

It is important to be aware of and understand the flood risks in this area. It is also important to know what to do when the Georges River does flood.

These pages can help you understand the risk and give you information on what to do before, during and after floods. There are also resources and further information for you to explore.

For a more detailed explanation on how the Georges River was formed, visit the Georges Riverkeeper website - What shaped the Georges River?

In Your Language

In Your Language


NSW SES has flood and storm information translated into a range of different languages.

In Your Language

 

Historical Flood Photos

 

This photo shows the range in Flood Levels for many houses in the Moorebank.

 The range in flood levels for many houses in Moorebank

Image source: Bewsher Consulting, 2004

 

Rescue during 1956 flood, Newbridge Road at Moorebank

Rescue during 1956 flood, Newbridge Road at Moorebank

Image source: Bewsher Consulting, 2004

 

1964 flood near East Hills Footbridge

 1964 flood near East Hills Footbridge

Image source: Bewsher Consulting, 2004

1986 flood looking upstream to Milperra Bridge

 1986 flood, looking upstream to Milperra Bridge

Image source: Bewsher Consulting, 2004

 

1986 flood on the lower reaches of Prospect Creek

1986 flood, on the lower reaches of Prospect Creek

Image source: Bewsher Consulting, 2004

 

Chipping Norton in the 1986 flood

Chipping Norton in the 1986 flood

Image source: Bewsher Consulting, 2004

 

Houses flooded by the Georges River at Chipping Norton, April 2015

Image Source: Mark Evans, 2015

 

Flood images are sourced from internal NSW SES resources or from the publicly available images.

If you have a flood image of the Georges River and would like to share this with the NSW SES, please provide feedback through the tab on the home page and click the lightbulb icon and 'Make a suggestion':

 

Further Information and Resources

Information and Resources to Explore


Here you can find links to a range of other resources and information from the NSW SES.

Flood, Storm and Tsunami Guides

Schools

  • Schools resources for Teachers, and materials for Primary and Secondary students. 

Households and Animals

Emergency Plans

Community Languages

Flood Data

The NSW Flood Data Access Program is a joint partnership between the NSW State Emergency Service and the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment. The program aims to improve the sharing of key flood data within government and to other stakeholders, so that this information is more broadly available to be considered in decision making.

Other resources 

 

 

Georges River Councils

Georges River Councils


The Georges River flows through a range of Local Councils in Sydney.

Other neighbouring council areas do experience flooding either from localised heavy rainfall or from creeks and other waterways that flow into the Georges River. This webpage is focused only on floods in the Georges River. Further flood information on these other areas of flooding will be gradually added to the NSW SES website. 

Local Councils conduct Flood Studies on the impacts of floodwater and may have specific height data for residents and businesses.

Search the below Council websites for more information on floods.

 

Bayside

Canterbury-Bankstown

Campbelltown

Cumberland

Fairfield

Georges River

Liverpool

Sutherland

Wollondilly

 

Local Government Areas in Sydney

If you have any comments or feedback on this site, please use our contact form.

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