The Hunter Valley has become a major area of concern as flooding continues across NSW, said SES Deputy Commissioner Dean Storey.
State Emergency Service volunteers have staged two dozen flood rescues and responded to almost 600 requests for help across NSW since lunchtime on Friday.
SES Assistant Commissioner Dean Storey said it had been a hectic 24 hours throughout the state but particularly in the Upper Hunter.
“That continues to be where our focus is today,” he told ABC TV on Saturday morning.
“Scone and Muswellbrook were affected by floodwaters over the last 24 hours and will continue to be to an extent today, with the focus shifting downstream.”
Flooding is on the cards in Singleton on Saturday evening and then at Maitland into Sunday, Storey said.
However the statewide situation remains volatile, with numerous watches and warnings active following a month of heavy rainfall.
Areas of major concern include along the Namoi River at Gunnedah, in the state’s northeast, and the Castlereagh River around Molong in the central west.
“This is quite a large statewide flood risk at the moment,” Storey said.
“We are urging all communities and those flood prone areas to be aware of the risk and monitor the local conditions and follow the advice.”
Sydney’s Warragamba Dam was expected to spill on Friday evening, with the peak overflow volume increasing to a rate of 100 gigalitres per day by Saturday morning.
The Bureau of Meteorology said some areas of the state had been hit with more than 100 millimetres of rain on Friday. The downpour was likely to ease over the weekend but the risk of flooding persists.
There were major flood warnings for the Peel River at Tamworth and the Namoi at Gunnedah, Boggabri, Narrabri, Wee Waa, Bugilbone, and Goangra.
Wee Waa could be cut off for more than a week due to the flooding, while an RFS helicopter was called in to rescue a man trapped on the roof of his car in floodwaters at Caroona on the Liverpool Plains on Friday.
Storey said it was a good time to stay off the roads.
The Oxley Highway is closed in both directions between Carroll and Gunnedah and the Kamilaroi Highway between Curlewis to Breeza.
At Muswellbrook, the New England Highway is closed in both directions.