A fire-fighting crew was got between a rock and a hard place—literally in northern NSW floodwaters as they made an emergency rush to get their colleague’s daughter to a nearby hospital earlier today.
The firefighters got stuck in the northern area of Glenreagh.
By good luck, they managed to rescue themselves though their truck remained trapped.
A huge part of NSW is on high alert for heavy thunderstorms and flooding.
The forecasted severe thunderstorms are expected to deliver heavy falls that could cause flash flooding in parts spanning Canberra to Walgett in the northern NSW.
Other areas likely to be affected include Canberra, Orange, Tamworth, Goulburn, Narrabri, Gunnedah, Dubbo, Walgett and Parkes.
Residents of the flood-stricken regions in NSW and Queensland particularly near Coffs Harbour are being urged to “be aware” as heavier rains are forecast to throw a final punch later today before the harsh conditions ease tomorrow.
In Lismore, SES crews were busy responding to the effects of flash floods with many motorists getting stranded in rising floodwaters within the city streets.
The SES crews performed nine flood rescues out of the 172mm of rainfall that bombarded the area from 9am, with about half of this pouring happening in a span of just two hours this afternoon.
Various areas in the Mid-North Coast recorded about 200mm of rainfall overnight with the state having a number of flood warnings in place.
A severe weather warning remains for heavy downpours and abnormally high tides for towns situated along the Northern Rivers in northern NSW and along the mid-north coast.
Authorities told Storm Assist that the current weather conditions have not been witnessed since 2017 during Cyclone Debbie.
An evacuation order has been issued for Tygalah, Tumbulgun, Condong and the areas surrounding the Tweed River.
The SES believes that this would be the final flood warning for the Tweed River, with floodwaters expected to recede starting today so as to give a clearer picture of the damaged caused beneath.
“Be aware. If you see water over roads, take an alternate way around and stay safe,” said the NSW SES Assistant Commissioner Nicole Hogan.
“If you are under an evacuation order, then the best thing is to not be in the properties that have been evacuated, and with you take all your important items like your medicines and important papers.”
Several minor flood warnings are in place for other rivers running through the region.
Elsewhere in the state’s southern areas near Coffs Harbour, a high tide was seen at about 10.30am.
The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast possible flooding particularly for the low-lying areas like the North Macksville areas.
Residents and visitors have been urged to take prior measures to prepare for expected flooding and possible evacuation.
Minor flooding has already been experienced at Bellingen as real flooding is forecast around the McLeay River at Kempsey.
Ms Hogan added that the SES were going to review the evacuation orders possibly before end of today with hopes of giving a green light for all clear.
“We have been advised that the conditions are easing,” she said.
“We are expecting some further showers today and possible thunderstorms over the next couple of days.
“But, of course, we’re hopeful that the weather conditions are on that easing trend now.”
Tweed Shire’s Council mayor Chris Cherry noted that it was such a “huge relief” that weather conditions would start easing today, adding that “it feels like we’re through the worst of it”.
However, the floodwaters expected to recede will allow relevant authorities to assess the extent of the damage.
“We’ve had quite a few washouts on some of our roads, we’ve had bridges damaged and causeways,” Cr Cherry said.
“One of our water treatment plants is having some serious issues and all of that assessment needs to be done when our crews are out on the road today. We do still have quite a lot of closed roads.”
She applauded the resilient communities that were staring at a major clean-up.
“People are honestly really fatigued, it’s been a very long, severe weather event,” she said.
“It’s a time when everyone feels like they just want to wind down and relax and get organised for Christmas and now with all of our council crews, all of our community has got to ramp up and get into this clean-up and repair the damage.
“Obviously there’s a lot of damage that won’t get repaired until the New Year. But with the clean-up, crews will be out there today.”
The rain pattern is now heading south towards Sydney.
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