The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) says up to 400mm of rain could fall over the north coast on Friday and Saturday. The exact amount of rainfall will depend on the eventual severity of a tropical low that is currently located over the Coral Sea.
In addition, king high tides will add to the risk of flooding in the lower tidal reaches of the Tweed, Brunswick, Richmond and Wilsons rivers.
The BOM says at this stage there is a greater than 70 per cent chance of moderate flooding in those river valleys, as well as the Clarence, Orara, Bellinger and Nambucca valleys from Friday onwards.
This flood watch means that people living or working along rivers and creeks must monitor the latest weather forecasts and warnings and be ready to move to higher ground should flooding develop.
A tropical low is hovering off the coast about 1,000 kilometres north north-east of Bundaberg.
The storm is expected to cross the coast on Friday, with weather bureau senior forecaster Rick Threlfall saying it could intensify and make landfall as a cyclone.
‘There is a risk as that low or possible cyclone approaches the coast during Thursday night that we could see gales and damaging wind gusts developing,’ he said.
SES Clarence-Nambucca deputy regional controller Michael Stubbs told ABC that while it is not exactly clear yet if it will be a minor or major event, people at least have time to prepare for it.
‘They can clean all the gutters and drains around their property because there’s going to be a lot of localised flooding. ”They can also have sandbags or rolls of plastic or anything like that, to put around the doorways.
‘ Mr Stubbs said if the weather does hit, it is unlikely river flooding will be the immediate problem.
‘I think the issue for the residents will be the flash flooding,’ he said. ”
‘It’s the local water that’s going to be around the houses, and all around the roads and the causeways that people are going to have to watch out for.’