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October 20, 2021

Review your flood plans: SES

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Tweed-Byron SES incident controller, Andrew McPhee. Photo supplied
Tweed-Byron SES incident controller, Andrew McPhee. Photo supplied

The Richmond-Tweed SES is encouraging northern rivers residents to review their flood plans after the weekend’s heavy rainfall.

Rainfall totals in excess of 150 mm have fallen in the 48 hours to 9am Monday over the northern rivers, with some locations reaching in excess of 100 mm since 9am Sunday.

While this is somewhat less than the 211 millimetres of rainfall that was recorded to 12:00 pm Sunday over the Richmond and Wilsons River valley, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) that the pace of the rain is likely to pick up again.

Up to 200 mm further may fall in parts of the district over the next two days. Some catchments may receive higher.

Up to 296 millimetres of rainfall has been recorded during the past 56 hours to 5 am Monday over the Richmond and Wilsons River valley. This rain has caused minor flooding along the Wilsons River at Lismore.

BoM has issued a minor flood warning for the Wilsons,  and Brunswick and Richmond rivers, as well as a flood watch for the Tweed River.

Wilsons River

Minor flooding is current along the Wilsons River at Lismore.

The Wilsons River at Lismore (AHD) is expected to peak near 5.0 metres Monday morning with minor flooding

Richmond River

The Richmond River at Coraki is likely to exceed the minor flood level (3.40 metres) early Monday morning. The river level is likely to reach around 3.60 metres around midday Monday with minor flooding.

The Richmond River at Bungawalbyn is likely to exceed the minor flood level (3.00 metres) Monday morning. The river level is likely to reach around 3.30 metres early Tuesday with minor flooding.

Brunswick River and Marshalls Creek

Up to 165 millimetres of rainfall has been observed in the past 48 hours to 7 am this morning over the Brunswick River Valley.

Further rainfall is forecast for the next 24 to 48 hours which could produce further river level rises. The situation is being closely monitored and revised predictions will be issued if necessary.

Marshalls Creek at Billinudgel peaked below the minor flood level (2.50 metres) on Sunday evening.

SES alert

But while the volume of rain is still short of the falls that caused the March 31 floods, the intensity of the bursts could cause flooding, especially flash flooding in some areas.

In a message to residents on Sunday morning, SES Richmond-Tweed Region incident controller Andrew McPhee said, ‘At the moment there is a degree of uncertainty about what is happening but I want to get a message out to all of our communities about preparation and about… preparing for a worst case scenario.’

‘We’ve already seen very heavy rain across the region. Our concerns are that this may lead to our rivers being charged – and for localised flooding, including flash flooding.

‘I want everyone to think about their preparation, to review their flood plan and to be prepared to move if that is necessary,’ Mr McPhee said.

For regular updates check the Richmond-Tweed SES Facebook page.

At 10.45am the BoM issued a severe weather warning for the northern rivers, with a low pressure trough persisting along the New South Wales north coast causing rain and showers in the area, heavy at times.

Heavy rain and thunderstorms, which may lead to flash flooding, are forecast to affect the northern rivers and northern parts of the mid north coast over the remainder of Sunday and Monday.

Rainfall totals in excess of 200 mm are expected across broad areas of these districts over the weekend. Some catchments may receive higher.

See the bureau’s rainfall observations here.

The BoM predicts minor flooding along the Wilsons River at Lismore, which is expected to reach the minor flood level (4.20 m) on Sunday afternoon.

Check the BoM warnings page for updates.

Road closures

Accessibility to Main Arm via Sherrrys Bridge has been patchy over the weekend. Photo Tara Leishman
Accessibility to Main Arm via Sherrys Bridge has been patchy over the weekend. Photo Tara Leishman

As of 8.30am Monday  the following local roads were closed, according to MyRoad.info.

Ballina Shire: Boundary Road at Marom Creek; Lindendale Road at Marom Creek; Friday Hut Road at Kirklands Crossing; Friday Hut Road at Emigrant Crossing; Old Bangalow Road downstream from Tintenbar Road to Tamarind Drive; Ross Lane; The Coast Road at Skennars Head Road intersection; Teven Road at B&B Timbers.

Lismore City: Cathcart Street between Ewing Street and Conway Street; Keeroong Road; Oakey Creek Road, Georgica.

Tweed Shire: Commercial Road, Murwillumbah, boat ramp; Riverside Drive, southern entrance, Tumbulgum; Tumbulgum Road, Murwillumbah.

For regular updates go to MyRoad.info.

One of two southbound lanes of the Pacific Highway is closed at Raleigh, due to flooding, and traffic is slowing to 60kmph.

There are currently no other problems on the highway but caution is advised.

For regular updates go to the Live Traffic NSW website.


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