SES volunteers perform rescues as people drive into water

Richmond River
Richmond River

UPDATE 11.15am: SES volunteers rescued people six times last night as heavy rains and localised flash flooding caught some locals by surprise.

Richmond-Tweed SES spokeswoman Janet Pettit said volunteers were called to carry out four rescues in the Ballina area, one at Teven and one at East Lismore - all where people had driven into water on the road.

A severe weather warning for the Northern Rivers has been cancelled with the low pressure system responsible for last night's rain now heading north east and a high pressure system extending into the Tasman Sea.

However, a gale warning remains in place on the coast around Byron Bay and the Bureau of Meteorology warns dangerous surf conditions and showers will persist through the day.

The Wilsons River remains in flood at Lismore and is expected to peak about noon.

Ms Pettit reminded people not to drive, ride or walk through floodwaters.

She also said strong winds had also caused a lot of debris on the roads.

"Motorists should definitely take care on the roads, which are quite treacherous with potholes and trees may come down," she said.

Localised flash flooding occurred mostly in coastal areas, but also in Lismore near the Wyrallah Road shopping centre and in Avondale Avenue, behind St Vincents Private Hospital, where a burst water main made matters worse.

In the past week the SES have made over 100 call outs, mostly relating to trees coming down or threatening properties, and leaky roofs.

Wind gusts of up to 90 km/h have been reported in Byron Bay this morning, but they are expected to ease during the day.

- Andy Parks and Alex Easton

6.30am: A FLOOD warning is in place for the Wilsons River at Lismore following heavy rain that had the State Emergency Service responding to hundreds of calls for help.

The Bureau of Meterology has this morning issued a minor flood warning for Lismore, saying the Wilsons River is currently expected to peak about noon at 4.8 metres.

River levels are constantly monitored by the Bureau and can be viewed here.

An average 92mm fell across the region up to 5am today, although in some areas it was much heavier. Tuckombil appears to have had the worst of it, with more than 180mm falling since 9am yesterday. Alstonville was not far behind with 174mm falling over the same period.

Heavy rain has also fallen around Grafton and Coffs Harbour and flood warnings are also in place for the Bellinger, Hastings, Orara, and Paroo rivers.

Rain is expected to continue through today, although the Bureau notes the volume has "eased considerably" since 3am.

The rain has reportedly caused minor flooding across the region and motorists are advised to take care with water now over many roads, between the coast and Lismore, including over the Coast Road south of Ross Lane.

You can check state of roads on your route to work at the myroadinfo website.

There were reports the State Emergency Service had to perform two rescues of people caught in floodwater at Ballina and one at Lismore and that flash flooding had put water across the floors of some homes at Ballina and caused sewage overflow in some areas.

The State Emergency Service advises people to stay out of flood water and to not attempt to cross flooded causeways.

Topics:  editors picks flood lismore ses

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