Commuters urged against travel to the Blue Mountains as roads and train lines face severe damage

New South Wales residents have been warned against travelling to the Blue Mountains this weekend as train lines and roads are damaged due to the past weeks’ intense rainfall.

The Blue Mountains train line is among one of the hardest-hit transport infrastructures in the state with repairs expected to take at least a week.

Trains cannot run between Penrith and Lithgow due to landslips on the Blue Mountains line at Katoomba and Emu Plains, and a sinkhole at Leura.

Blue Mountains trains are not running between Penrith and Lithgow in both directions due to landslips at Katoomba, Zig Zag and Emu Plains. 9th March 2022, Photo: Wolter Peeters, The Sydney Morning Herald. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Meanwhile, damage to the Great Western Highway and Bells Line of Road has prompted the government’s warning to commuters against travel to the region this weekend.

Only one lane of the Great Western Highway at Mount Victoria is open due to road damage sparking concerns of extensive traffic.

Commuters are urged to avoid non-essential to the area.

Independent review into development of flood-prone areas

An independent review into the development of flood-prone areas in New South Wales will be launched after the state’s recent flood crisis.

The NSW planning minister Anthony Roberts announced the review after the Hawkesbury and North Coast of the state were hit by deadly floodwaters.

The government has paused any new developments while it revises its flood strategy.

The review would likely include appropriate building designs including homes built on stilts.

A sign a sign indicating ÔAll year around turfÕ in front of an area affected by floods in the suburb ofÊ Wilberforce on March 11, 2022. Residents are beginning to return to their homes across NSW to assess the damage following unprecedented flooding across Australia's east coast. Photo: Flavio Brancaleone/The Sydney Morning Herald
Residents are beginning to return to their homes across NSW to assess the damage following unprecedented flooding across Australia’s east coast. (Flavio Brancaleone)

Mr Roberts said the terms of the review are still yet to be determined.

It is unclear how the review will impact current building applications in the state’s flood-hit councils in the meantime.

The government’s pause on rezoning issues, which was introduced for the Hawkesbury Nepean after the March 2021 floods, will also be extended.

The Windsor Bridge was inundated by floodwaters during the latest wave of the NSW flood crisis. (Getty)

“There is no doubt from the start of the event, to the time government agencies have been able to access various communities, I think there were many gaps there,” he said.

“And there should have been better coordination.”

Residents of Wilberforce clean up a house affected by floodwater in the suburb of Wilberforce on March 11, 2022. Residents are beginning to return to their homes across NSW to assess the damage following unprecedented flooding across Australia's east coast. Photo: Flavio Brancaleone/The Sydney Morning Herald
Residents of Wilberforce clean up a house affected by floodwater in the suburb of Wilberforce. (Flavio Brancaleone)
Windsor residents clean a house affected by flooding on March 11, 2022. Residents are beginning to return to their homes across NSW to assess the damage following unprecedented flooding across Australia's east coast. Photo: Flavio Brancaleone/The Sydney Morning Herald Contact: Jesse Knibbs, 0455288955
Windsor residents clean a house affected by flooding. (Flavio Brancaleone)

Recovery efforts continue

More than 8300 homes were damaged or destroyed in the Northern Rivers floods.

About 1500 people are currently in temporary accommodation in northern NSW, with slight relief on the way with the first of 120 motor homes arriving this weekend.

The vehicles are being driven by Rural Fire Service volunteers who left Sydney yesterday.

Thousands of homes across the state have been destroyed by recent flooding. (Getty)

Meanwhile, warnings remain in place along the Hawkesbury River despite receding floodwaters.

Road broken in half by floodwaters

Recovery efforts are underway in both parts of the state.

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