Residents of the New South Wales South Coast to the Central North Coast are being warned of what is expected to be a crazy 48 hour period.
The NSW State Emergency Service (SES) is urging residents on the state’s north coast to evacuate as floodwaters reach highs not seen in the region for 68 years.
Torrential rains that have drowned southeast Queensland are heading into northern New South Wales and are expected to head towards Sydney in the coming days.
The treacherous weather began its southward journey on Tuesday, with a low pressure system developing off the NSW north coast expected to strengthen into an east coast depression in the next 24 to 48 time.
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued severe weather warnings from Newcastle below Bega. The Northern Rivers region of New South Wales experienced its wettest day in 139 years yesterday.
The body of an 80-year-old woman has already been found in her home in Lismore – the first death recorded in the state in the ongoing flood disaster.
As of Tuesday evening, NSW SES has ordered people who live in low-lying areas of Lennox Head, as well as those in nearby Ballina CBD and surrounding areas, to evacuate.
Residents have been warned to expect heavy flooding in the coming hours as the system moves south.
After midnight, SES was ordering residents of Ballina Island to ‘evacuate now’ due to ‘unprecedented flooding’.
The local North New South Wales Health District is also evacuating Ballina Hospital due to rising flood waters. Evacuation is taking place on the advice of the local police commander and out of an abundance of caution to protect the health and safety of patients and staff.
The hospital has 55 general practice and rehabilitation patients, who are temporarily transferred to Xavier Catholic College.
Additional staff have been called in and are working alongside NSW Police, NSW Ambulance and SES to ensure the safe transfer of all patients, whose families have been notified.
“Flood waters will gradually close roads, so don’t delay in moving,” the SES said, urging those to take shelter as high up as possible if safe to do so.
Evacuation areas include:
– Lower parts of Ballina CBD
– Low areas of southern Ballina
– East side of Byron Bay Road, between Byron Street and Greenfield Road
– Properties by the lake
– Sailfish Avenue
– Snapper reader
– Anchorage Avenue
– West end of Outrigger Road
– West end of Caloola Road
– Pintail route
– Hurtley Drive, south of Gradwell Drive
An evacuation center housing residents was also evacuated due to rising flood waters. The Cherry Street Sports Club evacuation center in Ballina has closed due to high tide issues with people being transferred to Lennox Head Cultural Center or Lennox Head Sports and Recreation Centre.
You can find more information and evacuation centers via the SES website.
Rain for days
The Bureau of Meteorology warned that “heavy to torrential rain” was likely south of the low, affecting Sydney, Illawarra and the south coast from later Tuesday.
Heavy rain, thunderstorms, damaging winds, abnormally high tides and damaging waves are likely to develop over parts of central and southern New South Wales as the system moves further east. Where is.
Along the coast and adjacent ranges from Newcastle to Bega, heavy rain, storms and damaging winds are expected from Tuesday evening to Wednesday and could potentially continue into Thursday.
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Damaging waves and abnormally high tides could also affect the coastal strip from the south coast to the lower part of the central north coast from Tuesday evening to Wednesday.
Severe weather warnings have been issued for these areas.
Residents of New South Wales have been warned that forecasts cannot predict exactly where the East Coast Low will move or where its severe weather will hit over the next 48 hours.
The predicted path may change, and therefore impact areas preemptively covered by severe weather warnings.
Residents of eastern New South Wales and up to Taree on the central north coast have been urged to closely monitor their local weather alerts and warnings for at least the next two to three days.
Flood waters are still flowing through many rivers and towns in northern New South Wales and southeast Queensland, with major flood warnings and evacuation orders still in place for several areas.
BOM senior meteorologist Dean Narramore, however, hinted at more flash and riverine flooding for areas further south.
“We are going to see the rain increase on the central coast of NSW, which runs from the Hunter to the south coast of NSW. This includes Newcastle, the metropolitan area, the Blue Mountains, down to the south coast,” Mr Narramore said.
“We are likely to see this type of precipitation again lead to flash and riverine flooding for many of our rivers, streams and watersheds.”
Emergency Services Minister Steph Cook said NSW had “never seen flooding like this” in the upstate.
“The scenes were really nerve-wracking,” she said, adding that unfortunately “things aren’t going to get much better up there for a little while.”
Ms Cook warned it is likely that lives could be lost as severe weather continues to impact the state.
“While I would love to think and really hope we won’t see any fatalities as a result of this event, I think it’s unrealistic that a disaster of this magnitude will mean there are no lives lost. “, she said.
Major flood warnings are in place for parts of the NSW coast, with the BOM issuing warnings for the Rivers Tweed, Wilsons and Clarence.
The Central North Coast, Central Coast, Greater Sydney, Illawarra and South Coast are also all under flood watch as the weather looms on the horizon.