An emergency situation was unfolding in the Illawarra on Sunday night as swiftly rising flood waters combined with high tides caused authorities to fear the banks of Lake Illawarra could break, potentially inundating low-lying areas along the foreshore.
Illawarra SES crews put out an urgent alert on Facebook at 8pm advising residents to prepare to act, claiming the banks had already broken.
"Lake Illawarra has broken its banks and is inundating Oaklands Caravan Park, Jettys Village, Oasis Resort and South Pacific Village," the SES said in the post.
"Residents living near the shore of Lake Illawarra are strongly advised to take precautions to protect property due to expected flooding at high tide [on Monday] morning, [and] residents in the caravan parks should start relocating now."
However, SES media officer Todd Burns confirmed the banks remained in tact as of 10.30pm, but crews would monitor the evolving situation carefully overnight.
"We're watching right around Lake Illawarra itself and those areas we know are subject to flooding have been door-knocked," he said.
"We're asking people to be prepared in case we need them to evacuate."
Mr Burns said a number of factors including king tides, big waves and the torrential rainfall were combining to elevate water levels inside the lake.
"The issue is not only the rainfall itself but also very high tides - in general we're getting king tides, big waves and swell....as well as the run-off from the rain going into the lake," he said.
Meanwhile, Albion Park was also at risk of being cut off from the rest of the Illawarra during Sunday's torrential downpour, with almost 100mm of rain falling in the southern suburb between 9am and 9pm forcing the closure of many roads.
Tullimbar resident Leah Harvey-Karberg said four weeks ago she was planning to evacuate because of the threat of fire, now she was worrying about floods.
"We are right near a creek that's rising pretty quickly and the SES have said it's only going to get worse," she told the Mercury.
Aaron Burgess was also monitoring conditions from his home in Albion Park.
"It's been hammering down all day and hasn't let up," he said. "We're not sure what to expect overnight."
On Sunday evening, Wollongong SES's Menno Schaaf said they'd had 164 jobs over the past three days from Wollongong to Kiama.
He said there had been no flood rescues reported from Kiama to Wollongong.
In the 24 hours to 9am on Sunday, Bellambi recorded 94mm.
Meanwhile, a week after the WIN Entertainment Centre made unwanted headlines due to the roof leak debacle at an Illawarra Hawks game, The Illawarra Brewery was closed on Sunday.
Late that morning, staff decided to close for the rest of the day due to leaks in several parts of the venue.