Rolling wild weather coverage: Flood isolates 3850 people

View of flood waters looking towards Dorrigo from Bellingen restaurant, Lodge 241.
Photo: Contributed, Neil Gunning
View of flood waters looking towards Dorrigo from Bellingen restaurant, Lodge 241. Photo: Contributed, Neil Gunning

 

UPDATE: Saturday 23 Feb 11.00 am

NSW SES advises that as of 8.04am approximately 3850 people remain isolated as a result of flooding. This includes 500 people upstream of Thora, Ewingar (253), Upper Wilsons Creek (150) and Upper Cooper Creek (120) and isolations in numerous other small rural localities across the north and mid-north coast.

The NSW SES has now undertaken 16 Flood Rescues during this event. These have been locations as diverse as Corindi, Dorrigo, Lismore, Nambucca Heads, Glenreagh and Bellingen. Many of these rescues relate to deliberate entry into floodwater and the NSW SES urges people not to drive, ride or walk through floodwater.

RIVER LEVELS: Major flooding at Thora, where the Bellinger River peaked at 8 metres at 4am this morning. At Bellingen the river peaked at 9 metres at 5am, with major flooding.
A Major flood peak is expected at Repton later this morning.
Moderate flooding is expected on the Kalang River at Urunga later this morning.
Further rain is forecast for the next 12 hours which could produce some further river rises.

12.30am 

SES crews have been tasked to rescue three people from a house surrounded by floodwaters in Bellingen.

The SES advised there are now more than 3500 people isolated across the state. 

The Pacific Highway has been cut at multiple locations by floodwaters.

The Bureau says Dorrigo had the state's highest rainfall between 9am and 10pm on Friday - 278mm.  

Wind gusts reached 93km/h in Coffs Harbour at 6pm. 

Offshore buoys at Coffs Harbour recorded waves as high as 12-metres. 

 

11.15pm

IT'S surprising sometimes how different the rainfall readings in gauges around Coffs Harbour can vary so much even though the gauges aren't that far apart geographically.

The official rainfall reading for Coffs Harbour for the 13 hours leading up to 10pm is 97mm.

That reading is at the Bureau of Meteorology station near the regional airport.

Elsewhere though the readings are varied.

Englands Rd recorded the highest rainfall in that 13 hour period with 128mm.

This reading was ahead of Loaders Lane (126mm), Shepards Lane (120mm), Red Hill (118mm), Buchanans Rd (106mm), Industrial Dr and Gundagai St (both 102mm), BOM office (97mm), Sawtell (93mm) and South Boambee (62mm)..
 

11.00pm

A flood evacuation warning has been issued issued for residents of Blackadder Creek and Corindi Park Dr areas.

Residents in these areas should prepare to evacuate and continue to monitor the situation.

10.45pm

IT'S little wonder there's major flood warnings current for Bellingen and Thora.

Rainfall figures show 262mm of rain has fallen on Dorrigo over the past 13 hours. The reading at the mountain top for the same period is 167mm while 178mm of rain has fallen in 11 hours at Bielsdown Creek.

A large amount of that water is rushing down the mountain into the Bellinger River.

The major flood level at Bellingen has been reached (8.2m). With forecast rain that level is expected to reach 9.2m at around 3am on Saturday.

At Thora the water level is expected to reach the major flood level of 8.5m at about 5am on Saturday.

Midnight should see the Bellinger River height exceed 2.6m at Repton with minor flooding. At the same time the Nambucca River is expected to reach reach 8.5m with moderate flooding at Bowraville.

The minor flood level of 1.7m for the Nambucca River at Macksville will be also be reached at about midnight. That level is expected to rise up to a moderate level (2.1m) by 9am Saturday.

Dawn on Saturday morning is expected to be greeted by major flooding at Glenreagh. The Orara River is expected to reach a height of 11m at around 6am at the bridge with major flooding. At the automatic gauge that level should rise even higher to 14m at about 5am.

10.30pm

A LOW pressure system off the NSW north coast continues to move southwest as a high pressure system near Tasmania extends a ridge to the northern Tasman Sea.

In case you haven't noticed, these two systems are bringing vigorous gusty winds, heavy rain and damaging surf.

As the low moves further inland during Saturday rain and winds will gradually ease.

The low is expected to weaken into a trough over the central parts of the state by Sunday.
 

10.10pm

THE fallen tree that was blocking the Pacific Hwy near the Hungry Head turnoff has been cleared.

10.00pm

RISING waters in the Kalang River has seen a flood evacuation warning issued for residents of Newry Island, Bellingen Keys estate and Yellow Rock Rd.

Residents in these areas should prepare to evacuate and continue to monitor the situation.

Residents should evacuate if instructed to do so.

A flood evacuation order will be issued by the NSW SES if evacuation is required.

9.00pm

A tree falling across the road near the Hungry Head turnoff has closed the Pacific Hwy in both directions.

Drivers are asked exercide caution and expect delays.

Coffs SES crews have been actiovated on a flood rescue for people at Orara Way.

8.00pm

THERE'S concerns about possible flooding around Urunga, particularly for homes in the Newry Island and Bellinger Keys areas.

SES crews believe residents should start preparing now and follow emergency services if required.

The Kalang River is expected to reach a peak height of 1.8 metres at 9am on Saturday with minor flooding.

7.15pm

Police officers and SES volunteers are working together to help free a person trapped in their house due to a large tree that has fallen on their premises.

The address of the home is yet to be confirmed.

7pm 

Council and SES crews are tonight continuing to field calls about fallen trees across local roads. 

Hogbin Dr is currently closed to traffic after multiple tree falls.

Large trees are blocking both lanes just north of the Boambee Creek bridge while the two south bound lanes have been blocked between the Coffs Harbour racecourse and Airport,opposite Coffs harbour Golf Club's 24th green. 

To keep up to date with road closures go to:  http://midnorthcoast.myroadinfo.com.au/

6.30pm

IF you needed any confirmation that the weather has been terrible, statistics from the Bureau of Meteorology provides it.

Up to 284 mm of rain (more than 11 inches) has fallen over the Bellinger Valley in the 48 hours to 5pm today. The rain intensity has increased markedly in the last six hours of that period with up to 100 mm falling.

Coffs Harbour has also been hart hit by the low pressure system but gotten off reasonably lightly in comparison to Bellingen with falls of 134.6 mm of rain recorded over the same 48 hour period. That last two hours of that period saw an inch of rain fall on Coffs Harbour.

Further rain of the order of 100 millimetres is forecast between now and Saturday morning.

Major flooding is expected at Thora and Bellingen overnight and minor flooding on the Kalang River at Urunga tomorrow morning.

At this stage it is not possible to predict the flood peak because of uncertainty over how much more rain will fall.

The Orara River at Glenreagh is expected to exceed its moderate flood level this evening. A flood watch is current for the Orara River for moderate to major flooding.

The latest reading (1.40pm) for the Nambucca River at Bowraville saw the height of the river reach 2.4 metres.
Bowraville

Intense overnight rain means this level is expected to exceed seven metres at about 3am on Saturday morning with moderate flooding.

6.00pm

ROAD closures have become a major issue as drivers either try to get home or start a long journey.

The Pacific Hwy is closed in both directions north of Corindi at Blackadder Creek.

Waterfall Way is closed between Thora and the Escarpment while there is a short delay near Coramba on Coramba Rd where fallen power pole at East Bank Rd is causing problems.

The heavy winds has caused numerous trees to be down along the Pacific Hwy from Nambucca Heads up to Grafton. The debris is considered especially heavy between Woolgoolga and Corindi.

3.30pm

SEVERAL roads have been closed in the Coffs Harbour City Council, Bellingen Shire Council and Nambucca Shire Council local government areas (LGAs) due to heavy rain and minor flooding.

Affected roads in Coffs Harbour City LGA are:

  • Bucca Road, closed  22-02-2013 9:57:15 AM
  • Cochranes Pool Road, closed  22-02-2013 8:49:57 AM
  • Duffus Road, closed  22-02-2013 8:40:52 AM 
  • East Bank Road, closed  22-02-2013 1:38:08 PM 
  • Ferretts Road, closed  22-02-2013 9:44:13 AM 
  • Gillards Road, closed  22-02-2013 9:54:48 AM 
  • Gleniffer Road, closed  22-02-2013 2:24:12 PM 
  • Grafton Street (at Nana Glen), closed  22-02-2013 1:37:49 PM 
  • Hartleys Road, closed  22-02-2013 8:45:17 AM 
  • Herds Road, closed  22-02-2013 9:55:14 AM 
  • Lower Bobo Road, closed  22-02-2013 8:49:11 AM 
  • McClellands Road, closed  22-02-2013 9:56:34 AM 
  • Morrows Road, closed  22-02-2013 9:21:29 AM 
  • Orara Way, closed  22-02-2013 2:38:09 PM 
  • Randalls Road, closed  22-02-2013 9:56:09 AM 
  • Sherwood Creek Road, closed  22-02-2013 8:50:45 AM 
  • Upper Corindi, closed  22-02-2013 8:45:50 AM 
  • Watkin Road, closed  22-02-2013 11:50:23 AM 
  • Bray Street, caution  22-02-2013 1:17:46 PM 
  • Bushmans Range Road, caution  22-02-2013 11:02:15 AM 
  • Eastern Dorrigo Way, caution  20-02-2013 1:57:46 PM 
  • Orlando Street, caution  22-02-2013 11:07:10 AM 
  • South Island Loop Road, caution  22-02-2013 1:19:24 PM

Affected roads in Bellingen LGA are:

  • Bowraville Road, closed  22-02-2013 2:34:55 PM 
  • Coramba Road, closed  22-02-2013 11:44:50 AM 
  • Darkwood Road, closed  22-02-2013 10:43:01 AM 
  • Deer Vale Road, closed  22-02-2013 11:36:53 AM 
  • Gordonville Road, closed  29-01-2013 9:55:28 AM 
  • Promised Land Road, closed  22-02-2013 12:13:47 PM 
  • Shepherds Road, closed  22-02-2013 2:37:28 PM 
  • Smiths Lane, closed  22-02-2013 2:40:01 PM 
  • Summervilles Road, closed  22-02-2013 9:31:42 AM 
  • Valery Road, closed  22-02-2013 2:28:44 PM
  • Martells Road, caution  28-01-2013 3:24:33 PM 
  • Newry Island Drive, caution  22-02-2013 11:06:05 AM
  • Rodgers Road East, caution  22-02-2013 11:12:44 AM 
  • Bridge Street, pre-closure  22-02-2013 1:13:39 PM 
  • Little Hydes Creek Road, open  22-02-2013 8:55:43 AM 
  • Crossmaglen Rd, bridge under water 22-02-2013 15:42:43 PM

Affected roads in Nambucca LGA are:

  • Bellingen Road, closed  24-01-2013 11:33:32 AM 
  • Browns Crossing Road, closed  31-01-2013 2:41:35 PM 
  • Eungai Creek Road, closed  24-01-2013 9:49:13 AM 
  • Taylors Arm Road, caution  30-01-2013 8:46:24 AM 

For updates go to http://midnorthcoast.myroadinfo.com.au/overview.asp

3.15pm

A POWER pole has reportedly fallen at Eastbank Rd, Coramba.

Meanwhile, 14,000 customers on the Mid North Coast have lost power including 250 at Red Rock, 1000 at Mullaway, 2000 at Emerald Beach, 160 at Sapphire Beach, 320 at Orara Valley.

Power is also out in pockets at Nambucca.

2.20pm

THE Bureau of Meteorology has reported up to 93 millimetres of rain has fallen over the Bellinger Valley in the last 12 hours to 1pm today.

As a result the Bellinger River at Thora is at 3.3 metres with minor flooding, with further rises expected.

Minor flooding is expected at Bellingen later today.

A Flood Watch is current for further heavy rain during the next 24 hours which is expected to produce major flooding in the Bellinger valley over the weekend.

At this stage it is not possible to predict the flood peak because of uncertainty over how much more rain will fall.

Predicted river heights and flows are below.

Thora:

  • Exceed 3.9 metres around 9 pm tonight, with minor flooding.
  • With forecast rain exceed 4.5 metres around midnight tonight, with moderate flooding.

Bellingen:

  • Exceed 5.2 metres around 6pm tonight, with minor flooding.
  • With forecast rain exceed 6.0 metres around 10pm tonight with minor flooding.

FloodSafe advice is available at www.ses.nsw.gov.au

For emergency assistance call the SES on telephone number 132 500.

For life threatening emergencies, call 000 immediately.

Weather Forecast: For the latest weather forecast see www.bom.gov.au/nsw/forecasts/

Next Issue: This next warning will be issued by 4pm Friday.

Latest River Heights by location, height of river, and time of observation:

  • Bellinger R at Thora  3.3m rising  01:09 PM
  • Never Never Ck at Gleniffer  2.55m steady 01:11 PM
  • Bellinger R at Bellingen Br  4.18m rising 01:11 PM
  • Kalang R at Kooroowi (Scotchman) 2.46m rising 01:10 PM
  • Kalang R at Newry Island  0.94m steady 01:05 PM

For latest rainfall and river level information see www.bom.gov.au/nsw/flood/

2.10pm

THE Live Traffic NSW website has reported that traffic is affected in both directions on the Pacific Hwy between Ballina and Coffs Harbour, with numerous trees down in the area.

It is advised that motorists reduce speed, exercise caution and expect some delays.

1.46pm

POLICE have been called to a three car accident on the Pacific Highway near Sandy Beach. 

An elderly motorist is said to have aquaplane from the northbound lane across the road into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

One person is reported to be still be trapped and six people have suffered injuries.

The crash scene is said to be near the Graham Dr turn-off.

The Pacific Highway is not blocked.

1.40pm

POLICE are reporting deep water building in the south-west lane of the Waterfall Way, between Bellingen and Coffs Harbour.

1.35pm

THERE are early reports of a truck accident on the Dirty Creek Range Rd, 5km north fo Corindi Beach.

Police are on scene.

The driver, aged in his 30s, has suffered injuries to his back and leg.

Paramedics are rushing to the scene.

There is minimal disruption to Pacific Highway traffic.

1.30pm

SCHOOLS across the Coffs Coast are calling for parents to pick up their children early today due to the heavy rain and flooding.

Coffs Primary, St Augustines Primary, Narranga Primary, Toormina High have advised parents are welcome to pick up their children early if they are concerned.

Bishop Druitt and John Paul College are closing and asking parents to pick up their children as soon as possible.

Coffs Christian Community Junior Campus has also asked parents to pick up their children as soon as possible.

Orara High and Jetty High are asking for parents to collect children who usually catch buses.

Coffs Christian Community School are asking for Bellingen, Nana Glen and Glenreagh students to be picked up as well as those who live west of the highway at Moonee.

A spokesperson from Sawtell Coaches advised buses will not get further than Randalls Rd.

1.15pm

MUCH of Woolgoolga has lost power with police reporting extremely strong winds on the Northern Beaches.

The East Coast low is firmly centred over the Coffs Coast this afternoon.

Winds gusts up to 100km/h are being recorded across the region.

Essential Energy is reporting power outages in the Ballina, Maclean and Coffs Harbour areas due to the heavy weather.

Crews are working to restore electricity in the locations.

People are reminded to call 000 if they see fallen or arcing powerlines.

1.10pm

SEVERAL roads have been closed in the Coffs Harbour City Council, Bellingen Shire Council and Nambucca Shire Council local government areas (LGAs) due to heavy rain and minor flooding.

Affected roads in Coffs Harbour City LGA, as reported here at 1pm today, are listed below:

  • Bucca Road, closed  22-02-2013 at 9:57:15 AM
  • Cochranes Pool Road, closed  22-02-2013 8:49:57 AM
  • Duffus Road, closed  22-02-2013 8:40:52 AM
  • Ferretts Road, closed  22-02-2013 9:44:13 AM
  • Gillards Road, closed  22-02-2013 9:54:48 AM
  • Hartleys Road, closed  22-02-2013 8:45:17 AM
  • Herds Road, closed  22-02-2013 9:55:14 AM
  • Lower Bobo Road, closed  22-02-2013 8:49:11 AM
  • McClellands Road, closed  22-02-2013 9:56:34 AM 
  • Morrows Road, closed  22-02-2013 9:21:29 AM
  • Randalls Road, closed  22-02-2013 9:56:09 AM
  • Sherwood Creek Road, closed  22-02-2013 8:50:45 AM
  • Upper Corindi, closed  22-02-2013 8:45:50 AM
  • Watkin Road, closed  22-02-2013 11:50:23 AM
  • Bushmans Range Road, caution  22-02-2013 11:02:15 AM 
  • East Bank Road, caution  22-02-2013 9:21:56 AM
  • Eastern Dorrigo Way, caution  20-02-2013 1:57:46 PM 
  • Grafton Street (at Nana Glen), caution  22-02-2013 11:03:37 AM
  • Orara Way, caution  22-02-2013 10:58:42 AM
  • Orlando Street, caution  22-02-2013 11:07:10 AM 

Affected roads in Bellingen Shire LGA, as reported here at 1pm today, are listed below: 

  • Bowraville Road, closed  27-01-2013 2:38:41 PM 
  • Coramba Road, closed  22-02-2013 11:44:50 AM 
  • Darkwood Road, closed  22-02-2013 10:43:01 AM 
  • Deer Vale Road, closed  22-02-2013 11:36:53 AM 
  • Gordonville Road, closed  29-01-2013 9:55:28 AM 
  • Promised Land Road, closed  22-02-2013 12:13:47 PM 
  • Summervilles Road, closed  22-02-2013 9:31:42 AM 
  • Newry Island Drive, caution  22-02-2013 11:06:05 AM 
  • Rodgers Road East, caution  22-02-2013 11:12:44 AM
  • Little Hydes Creek Road, open  22-02-2013 8:55:43 AM 

Affected roads in Nambucca Shire LGA, as reported here at 1pm today, are listed below:

  • Bellingen Road, closed  24-01-2013 11:33:32 AM 
  • Browns Crossing Road, closed  31-01-2013 2:41:35 PM 
  • Eungai Creek Road, closed  24-01-2013 9:49:13 AM 
  • Taylors Arm Road, caution  30-01-2013 8:46:24 AM 

1pm

A FALLEN tree on the Pacific Hwy at Headland Rd, Sapphire Beach, is affecting southbound traffic but not blocking the highway.

The incident was reported at http://livetraffic.rta.nsw.gov.au/ at 12.48pm.

12.30pm

MINOR flooding is current along the Orara River at Glenreagh where the river is expected to exceed its moderate flood level this afternoon.

Further rain is forecast for the rest of today.

At this stage it is not possible to predict the flood peak because of the uncertainty over how much more rain will fall.

A Flood Watch is current for the Orara River for moderate to major flooding.

Predicted River Heights/Flows:

Glenreagh (Bridge)

  •  exceed 7.8 metres around 5pm today with moderate flooding.

Glenreagh (Automatic Gauge)

  • exceed 10.0 metres around 5pm Today.

FloodSafe advice is available at www.ses.nsw.gov.au

For emergency assistance call the SES on telephone number 132 500.

For life threatening emergencies, call 000 immediately.

Weather Forecast:

For the latest weather forecast see www.bom.gov.au/nsw/forecasts/

Next Issue:

The next warning will be issued by 5pm Today [22/02/13].

Latest River Heights:

Location Height of River Date/Time of Observation

  • Glenreagh (Automatic Gauge) - 7.32m rising - 12:00 AM

For the latest rainfall and river level information see www.bom.gov.au/nsw/flood/

Noon

STEADY rain continues to fall over the Bellinger Valley.

As a result minor flooding is occurring at Thora, and minor flooding is expected at Bellingen later today.

A Flood Watch is current for further heavy rain during the next 24 hours which is expected to produce moderate to major flooding in the Bellinger valley over the weekend.

At this stage it is not possible to predict the flood peak because of uncertainty over how much more rain will fall.
Predicted River Heights/Flows:

Thora:

  • Exceed 3.3 metres around midday today [22/2/13].
  • With forecast rain exceed moderate flood level (4.3 metres) around midnight tonight.

Bellingen:

  • Exceed 3.9 metres around 3pm today [22/2/13] with minor flooding.
  • With forecast rain exceed 5.1 metres around 10pm tonight with minor flooding.

FloodSafe advice is available at www.ses.nsw.gov.au

For emergency assistance call the SES on telephone number 132 500.

For life threatening emergencies, call 000 immediately.

Weather Forecast:

For the latest weather forecast see www.bom.gov.au/nsw/forecasts/

Next Issue:

This next warning will be issued by 1pm Friday [22/2/13].

Latest River Heights:

Location, Height of River, Time of Observation

  • Bellinger R at Thora - 3.04m rising - 10:00 AM
  • Never Never Ck at Gleniffer - 1.9m falling - 10:00 AM
  • Bellinger R at Bellingen Br - 3.65m rising -10:00 AM
  • Kalang R at Kooroowi (Scotchman) - 1.9m falling - 09:21 AM
  • Kalang R at Newry Island - 1.24m steady - 09:18 AM

8.00am

TWO of the Coffs Coast's first rivers to flood have broken their banks with a day of heavy rain to follow.

The Orara River caused minor flooding at Glenreagh this morning after the rain intensified overnight on Thursday.

The Bureau of Meteorology recorded 96 millimetres of rain had fallen over the Orara Valley in the past two days to 6am this morning.

Showers intensified, west of Coffs Harbour, over the past 12 hours with 62mm falling.

Further rain during the next 24 hours is expected to produce moderate flooding along streams in the Clarence River Valley.

The Bellinger has also risen rapidly, as rain continues to fall.

The SES expects minor flooding at Thora and Bellingen today.

Dorrigo has received 156mm for the week, Coffs Harbour 126mm, Nambucca 114mm and Woolgoolga 139mm.

To keep up to date with road closures go to:  http://midnorthcoast.myroadinfo.com.au/

 

The weather radar this morning as heavy rain made landfall.
The weather radar this morning as heavy rain made landfall.

Topics:  bellinger river, bom, orara river, ses



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