Storm updates: Landslips, train and school disruptions, roads cut off, SES update

Residents facing the difficult task of cleaning up after extraordinary flooding across the Blue Mountains this week, can take flood-generated waste to council's waste facilities at no cost.

"We have waived waste fees to help residents affected in our community to dispose of their flood-damaged goods and possessions," said Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill.

"These floods are devastating for so many and this will help ease the burden of the clean-up."

Residents bringing flood-generated waste to the Blaxland or Katoomba waste management facilities must complete a Disaster Declaration Form which can be downloaded on Council's website here.

Council asks that the declaration form be completed prior to arriving at the facilities to reduce delays. All material presented must be hand unloaded, with each visit requiring a completed declaration form.

Council has waived charges for flood impacted waste, while the NSW Government has waived the waste levy across local governments subject to natural disaster declarations - including the Blue Mountains.

Get more information at

Trains are still not running between Penrith and Lithgow because of landslips at Zig Zag, Katoomba and Emu Plains. There are limited buses operating in both directions but they may not run to the normal train timetable and trips may involve multiple changes.

Transport for NSW advises avoiding any non-essential travel. For those who have to use the network, leave plenty of extra travel time.

The trains will be out of action at least until the end of the week while the damage is inpspected and assessed.

Roads are largely incident-free, according to Live Traffic although one lane of the Great Western Highway is still closed at Mt Victoria because of damage beneath the bridge over the rail line. Only the west-bound lane is open and traffic is being controlled with stop/go signs. Expect delays.

Bells Line of Road is also closed at North Richmond where the bridge is under water. Windsor Bridge is also closed.

The weather appears a lot brighter than the past several days with a medium chance of a shower this morning and a maximum in Katoomba of 19 degrees. The wild winds which may hit Sydney will not reach the Mountains, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, which predicts southerlies 30 to 40km/h in the middle of the day decreasing to 20 to 30 km/h in the early afternoon.

UPDATE Tuesday March 8:Organisers have been forced to postpone the Blue Mountains Music Festival due to the deluge of rain in Katoomba.

Due to be held from March 18-20, the difficult decision was made on Tuesday morning when it became clear the festival stages would not be able to be safely installed due to the wet conditions.

The festival has been rescheduled for October 7, 8 and 9 this year.

In a statement to the Gazette March 8, a Transport for NSW spokesperson has said the following:

"Record rainfall has affected all forms of transport through the Blue Mountains, including road networks and train lines.

Transport for NSW is monitoring the situation closely for landslides, fallen trees and other dangers that may impact the safety of our customers and staff.

Customers are asked to consider their need to travel through the Blue Mountains, and to avoid the area unless absolutely necessary.

A single lane closure was put in place on the Great Western Highway at Fairy Bower Road near Mount Victoria due to slope instability on Friday 4 March.

The single lane closure remains in place eastbound with the westbound lane open under stop/slow. The closure is intended to protect the integrity of the road surface in the westbound lane and allow for thorough geotechnical investigation to assess what further rectification works will be required to stabilise the slope.

Temporary rectification work is currently underway in this location to drain water away from the area and seal cracks to prevent further saturation of the slope. A geotechnical engineer is on-site to monitor the situation and take further action where necessary.

Transport for NSW has traffic control personnel on site at Hartley to ensure safe passage of vehicles travelling up Victoria Pass, should vehicles begin to queue at Mount Victoria.

Once again, Transport for NSW advises all customers to consider their need to travel through the Blue Mountains, either by road or rail, and to avoid the area unless absolutely necessary.

Where travel through the Blue Mountains cannot be avoided, motorists are advised to plan their trip, expect heavy traffic and significant delays, and allow extra travel time.

For all updates on roads, check"

Links: Rain deluge in the Mountains

UPDATE Monday March 7:

4.45pm:The Blue Mountains has been declared a Natural Disaster Area following record-breaking rains.

The Blue Mountains was added to the list of Natural Disaster Areas today [Monday, March 7], backdated to February 22.

Blue Mountains City Council is urging residents to exercise extreme caution, and minimise movements around the city, as much as possible.

Blue Mountains mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill, said: "The council and I are urging everyone to limit movements and to be extremely careful if you need to move around. The risks are very real, and very high. Be aware of falling trees - the immense amount of rain that has fallen has softened the ground considerably.

"This is the third major storm and flood event we've experienced in as many years, and it is taking its toll on our natural environment, our infrastructure, and on our community," said the mayor.

"Being added to the Natural Disaster Areas list is a good thing. It opens doors to resources and support mechanisms that will be vital to managing the crisis, and in the clean up to follow."

4.30pm:Two shuttle trains are running back and forward between Springwood and Penrith. Transport for NSW has warned commuters to allow extra travel time.

2 shuttle trains are running back and forward between Penrith and Springwood.Please allow extra travel time and let us know if you need travel assistance.

— NSW TrainLink West (@TrainLinkWest) March 7, 2022

12.30pm:Fire and Rescue NSW crews attended the scene of a major landslide, caused by intense rainfall, at Katoomba.

"Fire crews have put exclusion zones in place around the scene in Gang Gang Street, as the area is unstable," Fire and Rescue NSW Macarthur & Wollondilly Region Command MS3 posted on their Facebook page.

"The nearby rail line is also in danger and RailCorp has closed the line in both directions until engineers can assess the damage."

Storm updates: Landslips, train and school disruptions, roads cut off, SES update

Trains not running

12noon: A Transport for NSW spokesman has said a massive landslide at Zig Zag has closed the rail line between Mt Victoria and Lithgow. #BluemountainsLine trains are not running between Springwood and Lithgow due to that landslip near Zig Zag earlier. Replacement buses have been arranged.

10am: Valley Height update: The highway is now clear west-bound, and one lane open east-bound. Traffic is flowing slowly. RMS are arranging to clear debris and open the second lane.

9am: Motorists on the Great Western Highway are being urged to use caution near Valley Heights with Live Traffic reporting water over the road. The incident is affecting traffic in both directions. Springwood Fire and Rescue said the east-bound lanes are blocked and west-bound also affected. Many motorists were diverting via Macquarie Road, Springwood to avoid that section of the highway.

Firefighters are working to clear the water but it may take some time. Drivers are also using Green Parade to travel east but it is very slow with very heavy traffic.

There is also a landslip at Mount Victoria near the bridge over the railway line which has closed part of the road since Friday. Stop/go signs are limiting traffic to one lane only. Motorists are also being held at the bottom and the top of Victoria Pass, to limit the number of vehicles on the pass at any one time.

At Katoomba, part of Glenraphael Road has collapsed and the road is closed. The Golden Staircase, Mt Solitary, Ruined Castle and Narrow Neck Trail are now inaccessible, according to Blue Mountains police

Trains:Blue Mountains Line trains are not running between Springwood and Lithgow due to a landslip near Zig Zag earlier. Replacement buses have been arranged, NSW TrainLink West reported.

#BluemountainsLine trains are not running between Srpingwood and Lithgow due to a Landslip near Zig Zag earlier.Replacement buses have been arranged,

— NSW TrainLink West (@TrainLinkWest) March 6, 2022

Commuters are being advised to not travel unless it is absolutely necessary.

If you must travel, allow for plenty of additional travel time and check the Trip Planner or transport apps to get real-time updates. Impacts will continue through the rest of this week as they undertake detailed inspections to ensure rail network remains safe for trains and customers.

Crews are working around the clock to assess damage and clear debris quickly. Every effort is being made to maintain services and provide customers with safe alternatives.

To help assist with traffic flow and help people get to and from work and school safely, motorists will be able to use the T2 and T3 transit lanes on Monday March 7 and not be fined. Road users are also urged to to avoid non-essential travel and to exercise caution on the roads. Never drive through floodwater, follow the directions of emergency services and take extreme care as conditions are changing quickly.

Check for real time updates and find more information on the status of affected roads.

UPDATE Thursday March 3: Train delays

The Blue Mountains train line is still being impacted by severe weather conditions.

Trains are running late due to the severe weather and power supply issues at Blaxland.

Transport for NSW reports that "stopping patterns may change at short notice. Buses may supplement or replace some trains. For service updates, please check transport apps, information screens and listen to announcements. Please allow plenty of extra travel time and delay any non essential travel".

SES update:Blue Mountains SES Unit Commander John Hughes has told the Gazette the SES within the Blue Mountains has "received 85 calls for assistance so far. We have completed most of the calls with properties made safe or provided advice to residents".

"The main calls have been from water impacting properties and providing sand bag assistance. Most calls have been caused by overflowing drains which cannot cope in the large amount of rain we have received."

In the first three days of March, Katoomba has received 186mm of rain.

Mr Hughes said they had also had several calls for leaking roofs.

"Often the SES are unable to assist ... as leaks are impossible to find and there is a risk of placing SES volunteers onto roofs in these poor weather conditions. Residents are asked to best manage [the leak] with a large bucket or bin if possible and contact their insurance company or a qualified tradesperson ... to make repairs."

Mr Hughes, said "where a water leak is clearly identified such as tree on a house that has caused damage, or a broken skylight, we often can provide temporary assistance to help make the property safe."

Mr Hughes said most of the calls came in the past 24 hours [to Thursday March 3], but they did start receiving calls on Tuesday.

The Blue Mountains Unit has also deployed some members to other areas of the State directly impacted by floods.

School closures:

Glenbrook Public School in Woodville Street is closed. For the latest details visit Nepean Creative and Performing Arts High School on the Great Western Highway at Emu Plains is also shut.

Katoomba Leura Pre School on Lett Street, Katoomba has had some flooding on Wednesday and only has one room open, which is just for the children of essential workers. It is expected to affect services today [Thursday] and possibly tomorrow.

The water level on the Nepean River on Thursday, March 3. Photo: Rupert Chesman, Facebook.

Sun Valley power

Meanwhile Endeavour Energy was working to restore power to Sun Valley residents after a fallen tree took out power lines in heavy rain on Wednesday, March 2.

Firefighters from Springwood Fire and Rescue NSW station attended the incident at Sun Valley Road making the immediate area safe. Endeavour Energy said 10 homes were affected by the power outage at 10am.

Update: Power was restored overnight. Residents report the nearby Valley Heights Creek is a torrent.


Explorer Bus has cancelled all services for the weekend:


Warragamba Dam commenced spilling around 3am Wednesday.

Inundation in the Hawkesbury: Image from the camera at Windsor Road showing Windsor Bridge, taken at 7.08am Thursday.

Overnight the rising floodwaters did as predicted, knocking out access to three major bridges - North Richmond, Windsor and Yarramundi - and continued to rise. North Richmond was the first to close, at 4.36pm, followed byYarramundi at 8.21pmand then the Windsor Bridge, at 9.52pm.

At 1.30am Thursday the SES warned that based on weather predictions from the Bureau of Meteorology, the Hawkesbury River at Windsor was likely to exceed the major flood level of 12.2m this morning and may peak at 14m throughout the day.

Evacuation Warning

NSW SES has advised residents and businesses within parts of Emu Plains to prepare to evacuate [Wednesday 6pm].All properties within the area of the area of Emu Plains north of Emu Plains train station, bounded by the train line, Russell Street and the Nepean River.