TAKING SHAPE: A water spout starting over the ocean at Lennox Head.
TAKING SHAPE: A water spout starting over the ocean at Lennox Head. Malcolm Tester

Bureau dampens chances of repeat

AFTER yesterday’s devastating weather conditions, it’s not surprising Northern Rivers residents are nervous about what’s to come.

But after the area’s recent battering, the NSW Bureau of Meteorology is playing down concerns of more freak weather, with forecasts showing the low pressure system is wending its way south to the mid-north coast.

Its message: keep your raincoat handy but don’t fret about another thunderstorm with tornado potential. Lennox Head has seen the worst of it, although a severe weather warning is still in place.

“It’s likely we’ll see more rain, especially south of Ballina,” said duty forecaster Jake Phillips.

“But, by Friday, the stormy weather should shift south to the mid-north coast.”

Last night towns including Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie were warned to expect a thunderstorm.

The forecast for the Northern Rivers, however, was for cloudy periods and showers, hardly good weather for a trip to the beach or an outdoor picnic but unlikely to cause the kind of devastation we’ve already seen.

It may be too early to get optimistic about a sunny outlook, however, or even dry shoes.

Strong wind warnings are in force for Yamba to Broken Bay until Sunday.

A Flood Watch has also been issued for the NSW North and Mid North Coast from Yamba to Taree.

The Bureau has warned that anywhere south of Byron Bay and Yamba still has the potential to see flash flooding, simply because the area has seen so much rain in the last 48 hours.

At Wilsons Creek, a well-known flood prone area, Richmond Tweed SES issued a minor flood warning with waters expected to rise to four metres between 3am and 6am today. (Friday).

Further south, the Bureau gives waterways including the Orara, Bellinger, Nambucca, Macleay, Hastings and Manning Rivers and Coffs Creek, a 70 per cent chance of flooding before Saturday.

Farmers and other landholders should keep a watch on streams and be prepared to move pumps, equipment and livestock to higher ground.

Residents throughout the area also being warned not to drive, ride or walk through flooded areas and to stay tuned to a local radio station for updates if they live in a flood prone area.

If you need emergency assistance as a result of flooding, contact your local State Emergency Service Unit on 132 500.

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