The NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES) says the weather event that took place from late February to early March has left many catchments saturated and numerous communities across the state remain in the middle of recovery processes having experienced significant flooding.
Further severe weather is forecast for the North Coast.
The SES is continuing to respond to requests for assistance from the community with the support of partner agencies and the service is urging the public to prepare early ahead of moderate to heavy rainfall predicted in coming days.
Heightened risk of flash and riverine flooding
Widespread rain is expected to develop across northeast NSW from Monday as a trough near the northern coast deepens and extends south. The ground and catchments are sodden. There is a heightened risk of flash and riverine flooding. Impacts from the recent flood mean that conditions and environments may have changed. Future floods may be different than expected or experienced.
The focus of the rainfall will initially be across the northern coast including the Northern Rivers and Mid North Coast from Monday and this may extend further south in the middle of the week. Falls of 10-40mm a day are likely in these areas. Locally intense falls of 50 – 150mm are also possible, particularly with severe thunderstorms and this is likely to produce flash flooding.
Uncertainty about timing
Heavy rain, strong winds and large waves may develop and spread further south during the week as a low-pressure system develops within the trough and moves south. Uncertainty remains about the timing, position and strength of this system and its impacts for eastern NSW.
NSW SES Assistant Commissioner Nicole Hogan said weather systems like these bring the very real risk of riverine, flash flooding and landslips. ‘Our catchments are very wet, and our dams are full, so it will not take a lot for floods to occur,’ said Ms Hogan. ‘We need people to be mindful of their flood risks and be prepared.’
In some areas floods may be different than previous or expected flooding due to the impact of recent events. People need to monitor the weather conditions closely and be prepared to act early.
‘In the event that flooding does occur, there is a very real chance that roads can be impacted. If you are on the road and come across floodwater, do not attempt to drive, walk or ride through it. Instead, turn around and find another way,’ she said.