Flooding on the main road near Tumbulgum turn off, just north of the fruit markets about 10.30am March 28.
Flooding on the main road near Tumbulgum turn off, just north of the fruit markets about 10.30am March 28. Nolan Verheij-Full

Mullum, Billinudgel now in minor flood as river peaks

UPDATE 1.15pm: MULLUMBIMBY and Billinudgel are now officially in minor flood after the Brunswick River and Marshalls Creek reached their flood peaks.

In an updated flood warning for the Brunswick Valley, the Bureau of Meteorology says the Brunswick peaked at Federation Bridge at Mullumbimby at 2.8m at 11am. Marshalls Creek reached a 2.4m peak at Billinudgel at noon.

Meanwhile, Murwillumbah appears to have dodged its minor flood with the Tweed now falling quickly after peaking at 2.8m - 20cm short of the minor flood level - at 11am.

Flood warnings for the Brunswick and Richmond/Wilsons valleys were expected to be updated at 5pm. No further updates were expected for the Tweed.

UPDATE 12.20pm: THE trough responsible for last night's heavy rain has weakened, resulting in a cancellation of a severe weather warning for the Northern Rivers.

The Bureau of Meteorology says the weakening of the trough has led to an easing of rainfall across the region.

The Bureau says it will continue to monitor the trough and issue further warnings if they become necessary.

Flood warnings for the Richmond/Wilsons, Brunswick, and Tweed rivers remain in place.

Richmond Tweed SES region community engagement coordinator Janet Pettit said it remained important to be cautious around floodwaters despite the easing conditions.

Ms Pettit said flood rescues often occur when people think they can get home safely through floodwater.

"They don't realize that sometimes the water may look calm on the top but it's running quite fast underneath," she said.

"The other thing is there is debris in the river that can knock people over."

Underneath floodwater it's hard to see the conditions of the road and parts of it may have collapsed.

Across the state, Ms Pettit said about 250 flood rescues take place every year.

She said the main cause behind the rescues and loss of lives was people attempting to drive through floodwaters.

The SES is also urging residents to take care on the roads.

Northern Rivers SES volunteers have responded to 24 calls so far today, mainly to do with leaky roofs.

Nullum St, Murwillumbah, has been closed due to heavy rains overnight.
Nullum St, Murwillumbah, has been closed due to heavy rains overnight. Nolan Verheij-Full

UPDATE 11.30am: EASING weather conditions are reducing the flood threat across the Northern Rivers, although many communities can still expect to experience minor flooding, the Bureau of Meteorology says.

In updates to this morning's flood warnings, the Bureau of Meteorology has put back predictions for a minor flood at Lismore from about 9pm tonight to about midnight and to reach 5.8m by early tomorrow morning.

Coraki and Bungawalbin are expected to experience minor flooding on Sunday with the Richmond reaching 3.9m at Coraki and 3m at Bungawalbin.

The Bureau remains reluctant to predict a flood peak because of uncertainty about the amount of rain likely to be received in the Richmond and Wilsons catchments.

In the Brunswick valley, the river is expected tt peak at  Billinudgel around 2.6m this afternoon, while at Mullumbimby the Brunswick is expected to top out at 2.8m in the next half hour or so.

Apart from the flood threat, the heavy rain is also playing havoc with the weekend's sporting schedules.

Lismore City Council has closed several sporting fields with only Albert Park and the Adam Gilchrist, Arthur, Davidson, Hepburn Park, Lyn Larson, Marie Lee, McKenzie, Roder and Sam Trimble ovals and playing fields remaining open at the hirer's discretion.

Sporting groups are advised to contact their respective councils to see if their fields remain available.

The weather has also forced the cancellation of today's greyhound racing meeting at Casino.

A track inspection is will be done at Ballina Jockey Club on Sunday ahead of its scheduled race day on Monday.

A stewards inspection is taking place at Casino this afternoon ahead of tomorrow's planned Rappville Cup horse racing meeting.

UPDATE 9.50am: A FLOOD warning on the Northern Rivers has now been extended to the Brunswick River with the Bureau of Meteorology saying it will reach the minor flood level at Mullumbimby and Billinudgel early this afternoon.

The new warning adds the Brunswick River and Marshalls Creek to the Richmond, Wilsons, and Tweed rivers to local waterways now expected to burst their banks.

On the Tweed an easing of rain has reduced the danger level there, with the Bureau saying the Tweed had now peaked at Chinderah, Uki, and Eungella. The river at Murwillumbah was expected to peak about noon with minor flooding.

The Bureau expects to update its flood warning for all rivers at 11am.

UPDATE, 8.30am: ABOUT 1500 residents at Upper Main Arm and Uki have been isolated by floodwaters and could remain isolated for up to two days, the SES has warned.

SES units from the Byron and Tweed shires are currently conducting reconnaissance missions and monitoring the situation.

Food shortages could become an issue for residents in Upper Main Arm and Uki, and schools are being closed.

ORIGINAL STORY: FLOOD warnings have been issued for the Richmond, Wilsons, and Tweed rivers after a night of heavy rain delivered as much as 200mm.

After weeks of nervously watching falling water levels at Rocky Creek Dam, Northern Rivers residents are now being told to expect minor flooding, with the Wilsons River at Lismore tipped to pass the minor flood level of 4.2m tonight and reach 5m about 3am tomorrow, assuming current weather forecasts hold. However, the Bureau says it remains uncertain how much rain will fall, making it impossible to predict the flood peak.

Meanwhile, Murwillumbah and Chinderah residents were being warned to expect the Tweed River to reach its minor flood level tomorrow.

The Bureau says as much as 200mm fell on parts of the Northern Rivers in the 24-hours to 6am today. However, three-quarters of that fell within the past 12 hours.

In a severe weather warning issued by the Bureau in the early hours of this morning, it says Boat Harbour, on the Wilsons River near Lismore, recorded 134mm between 10pm last night and 4am today. Dring the same time Bald Mountain received 137mm, Couchy Creek received 128mm, and Uki received 108mm.

According to the MyRoadInfo website, some roads around the Northern Rivers have already been closed because of the weather.

The SES advises people camping, caravanning and engaging in activities near rivers and streams should listen to the radio for updates and advices, camp well away from watercourses and streams and be particularly aware that roads leading away from un-established camp sites could be affected before camping areas.

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

The community is advised never drive, ride or walk through floodwaters. Boating on floodwaters is extremely dangerous due to strong currents and hidden snags and rock.



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