Rain causes chaos

THE wet road conditions were factors behind a spate of bingles yesterday with drivers urged by police to take more care on the roads.

Swimmers on Northern Rivers beaches have been also warned to take care and not surf near river mouths where dangerous conditions have been caused by swollen river flows from this week’s rain.

Northern NSW Lifeguard co-ordinator Scott McCartney warned that even experienced swimmers should be cautious on the beaches near the mouth of the Tweed and Brunswick rivers, and the Richmond River at Ballina.

Mr McCartney said lifeguards had been advising swimmers of the increased dangers from currents and rips as a result of a rise in water flows from the rivers.

“Depending on the tides it is causing rips and strong underwater currents,” he said.

“If the rain keeps up it will increase the danger.”

Warning flags have been set up on beaches. At the Brunswick River mouth they were trying to keep swimmers further south along the beach. At Lighthouse Beach in Ballina swimmers were urged to keep north of the river mouth.

Mr McCartney said while sharks were known to frequent murky water after heavy rainfall, attracted by the marine life washed downstream, there had been no reports of increased shark sightings.

Surfers this week have reported shark sightings only at Wategos and The Pass at Byron Bay.

The cloud cover with moderate rainfalls and isolated thunderstorms look set to ease further today and over the remainder of the week, with scattered showers becoming more isolated by Friday.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology forecasts an easing of the wet conditions in the region as the low weakens, although unsettled conditions will remain with scattered showers and light to moderate east to north-east winds.

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