People in Lismore’s CBD, Lismore Basin and low-lying areas of East Lismore and Girards Hill have been ordered to evacuate their homes by 4pm, as the rapidly evolving flood situation unfolds.
However, it is not expected that the water will go over the levy.
NSW Emergency Services Minister Steph Cook told a press conference at 12.30pm that authorities were expecting the Wilsons River to reach moderate to major flood levels during the afternoon and that many buildings were expected to flood again.
‘This is of course very disappointing, but it’s an unfortunate reality of the current situation that we’re facing,’Ms Cook said.
‘I know that I speak on behalf of everyone in NSW when I say that our hearts are with you, we’re thinking of you. This is the last thing that you are wanting at this time.
‘We will get through this time. Our recovery efforts will continue. We will keeo moving forward.’
Dean Narramore from the Bureau of Meteorology told the press conference that major flooding levels on the Wilsons River were possible this afternoon and into the night.
‘We’re expecting showers and possible heavy rain areas, but not the persistent rainfall that we saw a month ago,’ he said.
‘But even if it does not rain we’re expecting flood levels to each or exceed the major flood level in Lismore later this evening.
Mr Narramore said that, for the region more generally, the rainfall that had been received last night had moved into the Grafton Coffs Harbour area.
‘Of particular concern is Coffs Harbour – the Orara and Bellinger Rivers. They’ll see heavy rain today and into tonight, with moderate to major flooding.’
Mr Narramore said the rainfall would ease as we move into tomorrow, and then the low will start moving offshore and taking the rain with it.
‘But as it does so there will be some wind, so we could see some gusty winds across our mid north coastal communities on Wednesday and Thursday.’
He also said that some of the highest tides of the year are possible, leading to the possibility of severe coastal erosion and inundation in the region.