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SES volunteers travel interstate ahead of forecast flooding

UPDATE 4.50pm:

STATE Emergency Service volunteers will travel from as far as Victoria to assist with forecast flooding in the Northern Rivers. 

Murwillumbah SES unit controller Mark Cowan said 24 volunteers from Victoria were expected to arrive into the Tweed region on Thursday night. 

Mr Cowan said crews across the region had been on standby since Thursday morning. 

He said other agencies were also prepared to assist if necessary. 

Mr Cowan urged residents to ensure they had plenty of supplies, including food, torches and water, and to remain safe around flood waters. 

 

UPDATE 1.30pm: A NEW severe weather warning has been issued on top of a severe thunderstorm warning already in place for the North Coast.

The Bureau of Meteorology is warning of heavy rain expected across the Northern Rivers, Northern Tablelands, and Mid-North Coast tonight.

The rain is expected to intensify heading into Friday as a new East Coast Low forms within a deepening trough off the coast.

The Bureau warns the intense rain is likely to cause flash flooding across the region. It also fits with the time set for the flood watch currently in place for the region.

The State Emergency Service advises that people should:

  • Don't drive, ride or walk through flood water.
  • Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.
  • If you are trapped by flash flooding, seek refuge in the highest available place and ring 000 if you need rescue.

For emergency help in floods and storms, ring your local SES Unit on 132 500.

 

A Bureau of Meteorology map showing areas of NSW affected by extreme weather.
A Bureau of Meteorology map showing areas of NSW affected by extreme weather.

UPDATE 11.35am: A SEVERE thunderstorm warning has been issued by the Bureau of Meteorology this morning with large hailstorms and potential flash flooding predicted for the Northern Rivers over the next several hours.

A trough stationed near the Queensland-New South Wales border bring widespread rain tonight, Friday, and Saturday as it deepens and moves slowly south.

Already parts of the coast have been hit with heavy falls and flash flooding in the early hours of this morning.

The Bureau noted that Wooli River Caravan Park on the Clarence Coast south of Yamba recorded 75mm between 8am and 9am.

The State Emergency Service advises that people should:

  • Move your car under cover.
  • Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.
  • Don't walk, ride your bike or drive through flood water.
  • If you are trapped by flash flooding, seek refuge in the highest available place and ring 000 if you need rescue.
  • Unplug computers and appliances.
  • Avoid using the phone during the storm.
  • Stay indoors away from windows, and keep children and pets indoors as well.

For emergency help in floods and storms, ring the SES (NSW and ACT) on 132 500.

 

UPDATE 8.15am: LENNOX Head has received 100mm of rain since 9am yesterday, with Ballina and Evans Head following close behind with 93mm and 86mm respectively.

There have been reports of flash flooding in some areas, and emergency services have reminded drivers to take it easy on the roads.

So far the heaviest falls have been on the coast.

In Lismore, there has been 23mm in the past 24 hours, while Casino has only received 3mm.

However the Bureau of Meteorology has warned that Lismore will be in the firing line over the next couple of days.

Intense and widespread rainfall is expected tomorrow and Saturday.

There will also be coastal gales and locally damaging winds on the Northern Rivers.

Roads and Maritime Services has issued an alert to boaters about dangerous surf conditions.

Skippers and owners of small craft should be on high alert and check the conditions before considering crossing a coastal bar or heading offshore.

Rock fishers should also check weather forecasts before heading out to decide whether it is safe to fish near dangerous surf.

Strong winds can also cause dangerous conditions for vessels on moorings which have been poorly maintained.

The State Emergency Service has warned Northern Rivers residents in the Tweed, Brunswick, and Richmond/Wilsons valleys to stay tuned to the latest weather forecasts and warnings and be ready to move to higher ground should flooding develop between now and Saturday.

Communities are urged to prepare for the upcoming weather by:

  • Staying indoors if possible and delaying travel plans
  • Stocking up on food and supplies now, rather than having to stock up during or shortly after the rain
  • Ensure you have non-perishable food items available
  • Be prepared for power outages - have torches and batteries
  • Consider refuelling gas bottles and fuel for stoves
  • Prepare your home before the storm including cleaning gutters, downpipes and drains
  • Plan/consider when to move livestock and pets
  • Relocate or secure farm machinery, irrigation pumps and other equipment

More information is available at: http://www.stormsafe.com.au/prepare-for-a-storm-now

 

Christopher Chan

INITIAL REPORT: THE Bureau of Meteorology warns there is a high chance of moderate to major flooding in the Tweed, Brunswick, and Richmond/Wilsons valleys by Saturday.

In a weather warning issued this morning, the Bureau says onshore winds and rains are expected to increase as a trough off the North Coast deepens on Thursday and Friday. 

"Another East Coast Low is expected to form within this trough on Saturday near the Queensland border before moving south to be offshore of the Mid North Coast on Sunday," the statement said. 

The north coast was predicted to see the heaviest rain between Wednesday night and Saturday. 

Friday and Saturday were predicted to bring the heaviest widespread rainfalls.

Murwillumbah State Emergency Service unit controller Mark Cowan said his crew had returned home early from the flooding in Newcastle to prepare for the coming days.

"We're just testing all our equipment and making sure we've got enough supplies," Mr Cowan said.

Mr Cowan said while they were not yet operational, his team would be ready to assist if the predicted flooding does arrive in the next few days.

He said Flood Watch groups around the region had been advised of the situation and were monitoring the rivers and creeks.

He said it was a good time for residents to ensure they had enough food and other essentials.

The bureau predicted a greater than 70% chance of flooding in the following regions on Friday and Saturday: 

  1. Tweed River valley - moderate to major flooding
  2. Brunswick River valley - moderate to major flooding
  3. Richmond and Wilsons River valley - moderate to major flooding
  4. Clarence River Valley, including the Orara River - minor to moderate flooding
  5. Coffs Harbour - minor to moderate flooding
  6. Bellinger and Kalang River valley - moderate to major flooding
  7. Nambucca River valley - moderate to major flooding
  8. Macleay River valley - minor to moderate flooding
  9. Hastings River valley - minor to moderate flooding
  10. Camden Haven valley - minor to moderate flooding
  11. Manning River Valley, including Gloucester - minor to moderate flooding

The Bureau encouraged those living and working near rivers and creeks to monitor weather forecasts and warnings and be prepared to move to higher ground in the case of flooding. 

FloodSafe advice is available at www.ses.nsw.gov.au.

Topics:  bureau of meteorolgy, flood watch, weather




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