Thousands of Sydneysiders prepare for flood evacuations; Albanian visits war-torn Ukraine; Several dead in Danish shooting; Russia claims control of the crucial eastern Ukrainian province; Widespread rain for Queensland early in the week; Second NSW case of diphtheria

NSW Emergency Secretary Steph Cooke says there will be no “gilding of the lily” – today will be difficult.

β€œIt is a very difficult time for Sydneysiders, especially those communities experiencing their fourth flood in less than 18 months,” she told Today.

“We know they are tired of all this bad weather. We just need people to keep working with us.”

With overflow spilling out of the Warragamba dam (pictured) contributing again to the rising water, Cooke said raising the dam was considered.

“These dams are not made as softening dams to begin with,” she said.

“They were either water supply or irrigation dams. If you expand them for another purpose, it becomes a very large and complex project and process.”

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