Severe weather is battering Queensland and the northern NSW; causing damage to the coastal regions as authorities warn that the distressing conditions are set to worsen.
Extreme weather being experienced in parts of the southeast Queensland and the northern NSW coast will intensify as heavy rainfall and strong winds linger on throughout the night.
Some areas of the Northern Rivers District in New South Wales recorded around 400mm of rainfall within a few days; Jane Golding of the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) told Storm Assist.
Other locations around the Queensland-NSW border were left soaked in 180mm of rainfall on Sunday.
And no relief was forthcoming as the wet weather continued into the week.
Wind gusts moving at speeds of 104km/h at Cape Byron were experienced and are set to increase as the BOM warns of more wild winds capable of bringing down power lines and trees.
Several beaches along the NSW northern coast have been eroded following huge tides, heavy showers and gale force winds that damaged much of the Main Beach at the popular Byron Bay—a great tourist attraction town.
“We’re seeing the largest coastal erosion we’ve seen in many years, particularly around the Byron Bay area, which is completely changing the entire landscape of the beaches,” CEO of Surf Life Saving NSW Steve Pearce said.
Mighty waves will continue battering the NSW mid-north coast, extending to the far south of Newcastle.
The showers were expected to lessen later on Tuesday.
The NSW State Emergency Service has so far received over 900 distress calls of people seeking help, with 160 of these registered between 6pm on Monday and 1pm on Tuesday.
Four people were rescued including a lady who was swept away when she attempted to leave her car when it got caught in floodwaters.
The heavy rains have resulted in significant overland flash floods as more flooding is expected even after the worst of rains subside.
The wild weather is likely to form permanent rips along various beaches previously considered safe, the Surf Life Saving NSW has reported.
Erosion along the coast has also made it difficult for Surf Life Saving aircraft to launch into the waters.
A severe weather warning and a flood watch are in place for the northern rivers as well as the mid-north coast.
Beaches in Sunshine, Queensland and Gold Coast have been closed and there’s a severe weather warning for highly damaging winds, heavy showers, hazardous surf and abnormally high tides in the southeast parts of Queensland.
According to the Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate, though the city was strongly withstanding the effects of the harsh weather, the risks still exist.
“From 2pm to 8pm today, we may receive another 300mm rainfall,” he said.
Heavy rainfall is forecast in the Gold Coast’s hinterland catchment areas and Mr Tate has urged drivers not to drive through flooded roads.
In a statement to reporters, Laura Boekel a senior meteorologist at BOM said severe thunderstorm event would increase, starting with the late afternoon in the southeast where heavier rains remain the major risk as the storm develops.
The dangerous weather is caused by a coastal trough off the southeast coast and a current slow-moving upper-low atop the southeast.
“The focus of heavy falls will be highly dependent on the location of the trough and upper trough, but is likely to be south of Fraser Island contracting to the Gold Coast by this afternoon and easing further,” she said.
A flood watch remains for areas lying between Hervey Bay and the NSW border and a minor flood warning in place for the Logan and Albert Rivers.
Flooding is also expected along the coastal areas and around the low-lying areas near the Brisbane River.
The BOM has warned of more rainfall and storms next week, with these conditions set to prolong into Christmas Day.
The low-pressure system moving off the southeast Queensland coastal region is preparing to deliver another round of heavy rains as well as strong and destructive winds with some areas forecast to experience gusts moving at speeds of 100km/h.
Authorities are urging residents to prepare for worse conditions, advising them to safeguard their properties and animals, be up-to-date with the latest weather warnings and avoid swimming at beaches and driving through flooded roads.
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