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Byron Shire
May 7, 2021

Heavy rain and strong winds for the North Coast

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A Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) release this morning says that the Mid North Coast and Northern Rivers regions of New South Wales are currently experiencing heavy rain and storm conditions, with the weather expected to continue well into next week.

BoM has forecast heavy rainfall to start Saturday in the Mid North Coast area before extending to the Northern Rivers on Sunday. Widespread rainfall with localised heavy falls will continue through to Monday with flash flooding and river rises throughout this time.

Dangerous surf is also predicted.

Incident Controller for the New South Wales State Emergency Service (NSW SES), Chief Superintendent Steve Patterson, said a severe weather warning for heavy rainfall, which may lead to flash flooding, has been issued for the Mid North Coast and Northern Rivers.

A flood watch is also current for a number of the rivers and coastal creeks in these areas, while a minor flood warning has been issued for the Bellinger River at Thora.

Chief Supt. Patterson stressed that Riverine flooding is expected to occur along many of northern NSW river systems. ‘Local creeks and streams are likely to rise rapidly, and possibly without much notice.

‘Low lying areas such as tourist parks, public parks and caravan parks are likely to be impacted first,’

‘With school holidays already commencing in some schools across the state, and the Queensland border now open to travellers, we can expect an increase in traffic and holiday-makers across the region during the next week.’

Chief Supt. Patterson added children on school holidays are warned not to play in or around storm water drains or causeways.

‘We are urging those tourists who may either be staying in one of our great communities along the coast, or travelling through them en route to other destinations, to check conditions before leaving home for their destination and have a plan should flooding occur.’

Chief Supt. Patterson said anyone planning on camping or caravanning in the northern coastal areas of NSW over the next few days is urged stay up-to-date with current warnings and advice from the NSW SES.

‘Please keep an eye on the Northern Rivers SES and Mid North Coast SES Facebook pages for updates on the weather, or tune into your local ABC radio stations – our official emergency broadcasting partners.

‘If you are driving, we urge you never to attempt driving through floodwaters under any circumstances. The risk is simply not worth it.’

‘It not only puts your life and the lives of your passengers at risk, but the lives of those who may be required to rescue you if it all goes pear-shaped,’ he said.

What is happening:

BoMy has predicted that a coastal trough is forecast to bring widespread rainfall to northern parts of the Mid North Coast today. This weather system, and the rain, is then expected to track further northwards today.

The coastal trough will re-intensify from Sunday bringing periods of intense rainfall to Northern Rivers and a return to heavy rainfall to the Mid North Coast rivers. River flooding for Mid North Coast and Northern Rivers is expected as a result with river levels expected to rise further from Monday and Tuesday.

High water levels due to spring tides are also forecast over the next few days, which adds to the risk of flooding in lower tidal areas.

A Severe Weather Warning for heavy rainfall, which may lead to flash flooding, has been issued for the Mid North Coast and Northern Rivers.

Moderate to Major Flood Warning for the Bellinger River has been issued.

What we are expecting:

The weather system is expected to cause riverine flooding for the catchments listed from Saturday.
• Tweed and Rous Rivers – minor to moderate flooding
• Brunswick River and Marshalls Creek – minor flooding
• Wilsons River – minor to moderate flooding
• Richmond River – minor flooding
• Orara River – moderate flooding
• Coffs Coast – minor flooding
• Nambucca River – minor to moderate flooding
• Hastings River – minor flooding

Minor flood levels

Low-lying areas next to water courses are inundated. Minor roads may be closed and low-level bridges submerged.

In urban areas inundation may affect some backyards and buildings below the floor level as well as bicycle and pedestrian paths. In rural areas removal of stock and equipment may be required.

Moderate flood levels

In addition to the above, the area of inundation is more substantial. Main traffic routes may be affected. Some buildings may be affected above the floor level. Evacuation of flood affected areas may be required. In rural areas removal of stock is required.

What you need to do:

• Never drive, walk or play in flood waters.
• Share this information with family and friends for their awareness.
• Farmers are advised to monitor rainfall and river levels and be ready to move their livestock, pumps and other equipment away from rising waters.
• Oyster Lease Operators are advised to monitor the rivers for possible rises and be ready to move
equipment.
Flood Warnings will be issued if Minor or Moderate Flood Levels are expected at the sites on the main rivers that the Bureau of Meteorology provides a flood warning service for.

For more information:
• Flood preparation advice www.ses.nsw.gov.au.
• Road information, for local roads contact Council or log onto www.myroadinfo.com.au.
• Road information on State Government managed roads go to the Live Traffic NSW website at
livetraffic.rta.nsw.gov.au.
• Rural animal and livestock assistance contact your Local Land Services Office www.lls.nsw.gov.au.
• You can find more information on the severe weather warnings and river levels from Bureau of Meteorology website at www.bom.gov.au.
For emergency help in floods and storms, call the NSW State Emergency Service on 132 500.

‘If it is a life-threatening situation and you are trapped by flash flooding, seek refuge in the highest available place and call triple-zero (000) if you require rescue,’ said Chief Supt. Patterson.


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