There are several flood warnings in place for NSW and residents have been asked to brace themselves for torrential rains and highly damaging wind as the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) warns that the worst is yet to come.
The super storms and wet weather conditions are set to linger on till Wednesday morning, with huge swells gulping up beaches including the popular Main Beach on Byron Bay.
More than 400mm of rainfall was received in the New South Wales and Queensland border, but at least 100mm more is expected in the next couple of days.
The Bureau has issued a number of warnings for New South Wales, mainly in the far north coast where heavy thunderstorms could bring more rainfall and flash flooding to an already soaked part of the state.
The bureau noted that the recent weather event was as a result of low-pressure trough moving off Queensland’s south coast and is expected to reappear on Monday even as the “trough deepens”.
Destructive winds moving at up to 90km/h are expected along the coastal fringe situated north of Yamba, and possibly extending south to Crescent Head along the mid-north coast at daytime.
Swells of about five metres slammed the coast all through to the south and Port Macquarie, while high tides are forecast to continue lashing the coast at Ballina.
Damaging Surf And High Tides
“The combination of damaging surf and abnormally high tides may enhance the risk of significant beach erosion north from about Ballina,” the BoM has warned.
High tides witnessed on Sunday washed clean the renowned Byron Bay’s sandy Main Beach as strong waves hit against rocks near a leveled road and footpath.
Dangerous surf warnings have been issued for the Coffs Coast, Byron Coast, Hunter Coast and Macquarie Coast, with the warning stretching to Illawarra and Sydney on Tuesday.
Flood warnings are in place for the Wilsons, Bellinger, Tweed, the Marshalls Creek as well as the Brunswick Rivers.
The heavy rains are set to ease later on Tuesday or early Wednesday, but the rest of the week will remain wet.
Sunday’s unusually high tides have plunged homes in great danger, with those residing along the waterfront told to expect major erosions.
According to Jonathan How a senior meteorologist with the BOM, the showers on Saturday night were simply “relentless”.
He added that 326mm were received in Limpinwood in NSW and more is expected.
“King tides and dangerous surf could generate considerable coastal erosion (and) … flooding is already occurring in some areas,” Mr How said.
“The community should prepare for minor to major flooding, so please check for warnings and updates over the coming days.”
Forecasters warned that Monday was considered a “critical time” for NSW as the trough extended further south and flooded rivers expanded.
In a statement, the NSW SES media officer Ilana Pender-Rose noted that the La Nina event had delivered “a lot of rain” in the absence of damaging winds expected on Friday and Saturday.
“With the second system expected (from Sunday evening) we’re asking people to please never drive, walk or ride through floodwater,” Ms Pender-Rose stated.
The State Emergency Service received over 700 distress calls from residents needing help at midnight on Thursday, and this number is set to increase.
The Coffs, Tweed and Mullumbimby areas experienced the most damage mainly caused by leaking roofs and fallen trees.
Residents have been asked to move their cars undercover, secure loose outdoor items, stay away from powerlines and fallen trees as well as not to drive or walk in floodwater.
A flood watch has been issued for southeast Queensland and this includes minor alerts for the Logan and Albert rivers.
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