An iconic Sydney beach has been completely transformed after severe weather caused flash floods to sweep through the city on Christmas Eve.
Ben King, a photographer from Sydney, posted a video to TikTok showcasing the intense effects of unrelenting rain on the popular Bondi Beach on Sunday afternoon.
In the video, water can be seen cascading down the stairs leading up to the beach, forming into a raging rapid, altering the layout of the beach.
The video creator dubbed this scene “Bondi Falls” captioning the video: “The new Bondi River 2023.”
The footage has racked up thousands of views, with people flocking to the comments to express their shock at the unusual sight.
“Lived in Bondi for 35 years never saw this before,” a local commented.
“Never seen Bondi look like that in my life,” agreed another.
A third wrote: “Now there’s something you won’t see every day.”
“Where’s a boogie board when you need one?” a person joked.
A slow-moving storm cell swept across Sydney on Christmas Eve inundating the city and the eastern suburbs with relentless rain, bringing up to 150mm of rain and 5cm hailstones.
The worst affected suburbs included Pagewood, Rosebery, Malabar, Botany, East Gardens, Mascot and Maroubra.
The NSW State Emergency Services (SES) responded to 492 incidents on Christmas Eve, including 25 flood rescues and responded to reports of 30 homes inundated in Sydney’s east.
A spokesperson said people were trapped inside their vehicles due to flood water coming into homes and entering garages.
“It’s always a challenge with severe thunderstorms,” NSW State Emergency Service commander Greg Swindells said on Sunday.
“The best advice I can give for people will be to monitor the Bureau of Meteorology website and also the NSW SES website for any severe thunderstorm warnings.”
“They will be issued in a timely fashion and they will give instructions to people on what actions they should take,” Mr Swindells said.
Flash floods also affected Sydney Airport, delaying and cancelling two dozen flights, as 64 millimetres of rain hammered the tarmac, inundating the runways with water.
Although operations have returned to normal, some passengers were still facing cancellations on Christmas Day.
“The immediate threat of severe thunderstorms has passed, but the situation will continue to be monitored and further warnings will be issued if necessary,” the Bureau of Meteorology said.
More severe weather is expected on Boxing Day in New South Wales, with thunderstorms and rain forecast — bringing further risk of flash flooding to large parts of the state and potentially affecting the The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.
Meteorologists are keeping a watch on a weather system that may bring adverse marine conditions to western parts of the Tasman Sea between Christmas and New Year.
Gabrielle Woodhouse, a meteorologist at the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), has been providing a series of marine safety and weather briefings to navigators and crews in the lead-up to the race.
“We’re currently expecting light east to southeast winds, partly cloudy skies and the chance of a shower or thunderstorm developing over Sydney and along the New South Wales coast for the start of the race,” Ms Woodhouse said.
“This year’s race conditions will be dependent on the position and strength of a trough and low-pressure system, which is forecast to deepen and then move to the southeast over coming days,” she said.
“Weather, wind and wave forecasts will depend on the location of this system.”