Rain eases but roads closed and some river peaks yet to come
UPDATE 8.25am: The Bruxner Highway has reopened in both directions at South Lismore after an earlier closure due to water across the road, however motorists should continue to exercise extreme caution in the area.
EARLIER 7.20am: WITH rain easing across the Northern Rivers, residents and motorists are warned to take care in the current conditions as some rivers have yet to peak.
The NSW Traffic Management Centre reports that the Bruxner Highway is now closed in both directions at South Lismore due to flooding.
This means there is currently no road link between Sydney and Brisbane due to the closure of the Pacific Highway, Newell Highway and Summerland Way, as well as the New England Highway/Cunningham Highway in Queensland.
Motorists should delay travel between Queensland and New South Wales. Additonally the following roads are closed due to flooding:
In the state's north:
- The Bruxner Highway is closed at South Lismore
- The Pacific Highway is closed between Ballina and Grafton at Shark Creek and Swan Creek. No detours are available.
- The Summerland Way is closed about 11km south of Kyogle and about 10km south of Casino.
- The Gwydir Highway is closed about 70km west of Grafton at Jackadgery due to a landslip.
- Armidale Road is closed between Ebor and Nymboida.The Gwydir Highway is closed at the Gibralter Ranges in Glen Innes due to fallen trees.
- Bangalow Road is closed between Bangalow and Lismore.
- Tweed Valley Way is closed in Murwillumbah.
In the state's north west the following roads are closed:
- The Gwydir Highway is closed between just west of Moree and Pallamallawa.
- The Bruxner HIghway is closed about 70km west of Tenterfield.
- The Kamilaroi Highway is closed about 10km west of Breeza to light vehicles. Heavy vehicles are still able to get through.
- The Newell Highway is closed between Boggabilla and Moree there is no access to the Newell Highway from Queensland.
- In the Hunter Region the following roads are closed:
- Industrial Drive has reopened at Tighes Hill after an earlier northbound closure due to water on the road.
The Golden Highway is closed at Range Road, with local traffic diverted into Range Road
In the Illawarra the following roads are closed
- The Illawarra Highway at Albion Park
Motorists are advised to avoid all non essential travel and exercise caution when driving today.
Meanwhile, Essential Energy field crews are working to restore power to nearly 20,000 customers throughout the North Coast as strong winds and rain continue to batter the area.
Electricity customers throughout the Tweed, Byron, Ballina, Lismore and Richmond Valley local government areas have been the most affected with 2,000 customers in the Mid North Coast also losing supply.
Essential Energy acting regional general manager North Coast, Daniel Bylsma said crews have worked tirelessly to restore supply however continuing weather conditions are hampering efforts.
"Crews are working as quickly as safety will allow them to get the power back on for customers, however rising flood levels, fallen trees, debris, boggy conditions and strong winds are preventing access to a number of areas," Mr Bylsma said.
When flooding has impacted the power network in the past and ground access has been an issue, Essential Energy has called on helicopters and boats to move field crews and equipment in a bid to establish supply again.
"We are currently investigating all possible options to get the power back on while ensuring the safety of our crews and the public," he added.
"Power will be restored progressively over the coming days due to the damage to the network - this means that some customers may be without power for two or three days."
Areas within the Far North Coast including Cudgen, Hastings Point, Bilambil Heights, South Tweed, Banora Point, Murwillumbah, Tumbulgum, Lismore, Laverty's Gap, Byron Bay, Ewingsdale, Lennox Head, Coraki, Woodburn, Wardell as well as many pockets throughout the area will be without power overnight.
Mid North Coast customers in parts of Bellingen, Arakoon, Stuart's Point, Scott's Head and Nambucca Heads are also without supply.
"Crews from across the North Coast region are assisting with repairs to the network with further crews from the Northern, New England and Hunter areas arriving Tuesday to help," Mr Bylsma said.
"Customers are reminded to keep safety a focus throughout this weather and if they see fallen powerlinesto stay at least eight metres away and call Essential Energy on 13 20 80."