Here’s what you need to know this morning.
Dams around Sydney like ‘sponges’
There are hopes heavy rain today and into the weekend across Sydney will help replenish the city’s water supplies.
Tony Webber from Water New South Wales said the catchment was extremely dry though and would need a major soaking before water started flowing into the dams.
“It’s like a sponge, it needs to be saturated before that water starts to move but what we’re hearing from the [Bureau of Meteorology] is that the main volume of that rain event is going to arrive by Sunday, we think by then the catchment is going to be wet enough to generate some inflows … into our dam storages,” Mr Webber said.
Tough level 2 water restrictions were brought in late last year when dam levels in the Sydney catchment fell below 45 per cent.
New cracks have emerged at the troubled Mascot Towers apartment block in Sydney’s south.
Fire and Rescue crews were called to the building on Bourke Street just after 10:00pm Thursday after the new cracks were spotted in the brick facade.
Engineers arrived to inspect the area and then cordoned it off.
More substantial hoardings will be put in place today.
A NSW parliamentary inquiry will be held into hazardous air quality from bushfire smoke that choked Sydney and other parts of the state over the past few months.
Upper House MPs will investigate the short- and long-term impacts of poor air quality as well as whether the Government can put in a place a better strategy to deal with such an event.
Sydney’s air quality index skyrocketed on certain days when bushfires raged and at one point was 12 times hazardous levels.
This new probe is separate to an independent bushfire inquiry taking place at the request of the Premier Gladys Berejiklian and will be taking submission until late March.
A flood watch is in place for parts of Sydney with heavy rainfall expected across much of the state’s east coast over the weekend.
The Bureau of Meteorology is warning of the potential for local flooding in the Northern Sydney, Southern Sydney, and Parramatta River catchments.
Penrith could experience up to 100mm of rain today, and up to 150mmm on Sunday, while Sydney could see up 90 mm fall both today and tomorrow.
The Illawarra can also expect heavy falls, with up to 200mm forecast for Wollongong and 150mmm for Nowra on Saturday.
Bushfire scam warning
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission says it is aware of hundreds of scams circulating in connection to bushfire donations.
Chairman Rod Sims said there were about 500 scams, the worst of which had fraudsters impersonating relatives of bushfire victims on crowdfunding sites.
Cybersecurity expert Suranga Seneviratne said scam sites often featured bad spelling or suspicious URL’s, and social media accounts with a small number of posts or followers should ring alarm bells.
He advised people who wanted to donate to do so directly through the charity, rather than use third-party purporting to fundraise on the charity’s behalf.
Heroin ‘hidden in deodorant cans’
A 42-year-old man will appear in court today over charges relating to drugs and weapons seized from a unit in inner Sydney.
Police said officers attended a unit in Ultimo around midday yesterday to issue the man with a Firearms Prohibition Order and found heroin in bags and concealed in deodorant cans.
Officers alleged they also found two vials of steroids, cash, a pair of knuckle dusters and a large knife with a double-edged blade.
The man was charged with possessing and supplying a prohibited drug, possessing a prohibited weapon and dealing with the proceeds of crime.
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