Thousands of litres of petrol and diesel overflowing onto roads in Sydney after a pump failure at a fuel refinery

  • Thousands of litres of petrol and diesel overflowing onto public roads
  • Comes after a a pump failure at Australia’s largest fuel import terminal
  • Emergency services are working to contain the spill and prevent contamination 
  • The petrol and diesel is mixing with floodwaters as a rain bomb strikes Sydney 

Thousands of litres of petrol and diesel have been spilling onto public roads in Sydney after a pump failure at Australia’s largest fuel import terminal. 

The spill occurred at the Caltex Refinery in Kurnell, with emergency services onsite working to prevent contamination.

Residents woke up to the strong smell of petrol early in the morning, and roads in the area have been closed.

‘Urgent road closures in and around Kurnell Township – situated around Eloura Road at Greenhills (roundabout). Oil and diesel are mixed in with floodwaters over roads,’ the NSW SES said in a statement.

‘Motorists should avoid driving through the area. Drive to conditions and follow instructions of emergency services and road closure signage. 

Emergency services are working to contain the spill, as petrol and diesel mixes with floodwaters in Kurnell

The spill comes as severe rainfall is forecast to continue in already-saturated NSW and flood warning have been issued for multiple river catchments across the state.

NSW has been hit by repeated flooding in recent months, with the Northern Rivers area devastated by two deluges within weeks, and Sydney drenched in its wettest March on record.

A severe weather warning is in place for southern and central NSW, metropolitan Sydney, the Illawarra, the South Coast, the Central and Southern Tablelands and parts of the Hunter on Thursday.

A severe weather warning has been issued for much of NSW coast. Areas in purple should expect at least 100mm of rain

A severe weather warning has been issued for much of NSW coast. Areas in purple should expect at least 100mm of rain

Some of Sydney could receive up to 250mm of rain on Thursday (pictured, Sydneysiders battling the wild weather on Wednesday)

Some of Sydney could receive up to 250mm of rain on Thursday (pictured, Sydneysiders battling the wild weather on Wednesday)

Heavy rainfall fell in the Illawarra, South Coast and Southern Tablelands overnight on Wednesday and the wet weather will extend across Sydney, the Central Tablelands and Hunter region on Thursday.

Six-hourly totals between 60 and 100mm are forecast, with totals of up to 140mm predicted on the coast.

The Bureau of Meteorology warned there’s an increased risk of landslides.

A flood watch has also been issued for central NSW, with minor to moderate flooding forecast for the Southern Coastal Rivers including the Hawkesbury-Nepean, the Macquarie and Queanbeyan rivers on Thursday and Friday.

On Thursday morning, the NSW SES warned there could be major flooding in Liverpool and Milperra in Sydney’s west along the Georges River with the water expected to rise above four metres in the late afternoon on the high tide.

“Residents of areas expecting to be flooded should make plans to leave when advised to do so. Ensure you take pets and valuables with you,” the SES said.

Minor flood warnings have been issued for the Hawkesbury River at Windsor and North Richmond and the Cooks River at Tempe Bridge and the Woronora River at Woronora Bridge.

Moderate flooding could occur on the Colo River at Putty Road.

The SES said on Thurday it had conducted seven flood rescues and responded to 580 requests for help in the past 24 hours.

It's been a wet night on Sydney roads with some areas receiving up to 120mm overnight

It’s been a wet night on Sydney roads with some areas receiving up to 120mm overnight

Catchments are already soaked after months of heavy rain, the BOM said.

The bad weather is being driven by a strong upper trough over the centre of NSW, working to deepen another trough sitting off the coast.

The systems are expected to weaken on Friday morning.

“Heavy and persistent showers over the coming days will increase the chance of flash flooding and landslips over already saturated catchments,” BOM meteorologist Sarah Scully said.

Severe thunderstorms also pose a threat, including in northeast NSW.

“They may produce localised heavy falls (but) it is not expected to produce that riverine flooding,” Ms Scully said.

“Instead, it’ll be more localised flash flooding.”

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