Coast on flood watch as ex-tropical cyclone tracks south

PARTS of the Coffs Coast could experience flooding this weekend as ex-tropical cyclone Oswald tracks south. 

That's the expectation the Clarence Nambucca State Emergency Service Unit holds heading into a weekend of high rainfall.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a Flood Watch for the NSW coastal valleys from the QLD border to Lower Hunter from late Saturday onwards.

"Flooding is expected to develop from late Saturday and into Sunday and Monday as the weather system moves southwards over the weekend," the bureau reported.

Oswald is expected to move south over the weekend into NSW and bring widespread heavy rain to the north and mid north coasts and parts of the northern tablelands.

NSW SES Public Information Officer Megan Hill said there was 75% chance that major flooding, as well as local flash flooding, will develop from later Saturday and into Sunday and Monday.

Severe weather causing damaging surf is also possible.

The areas on Flood Watch within the Clarence Nambucca SES Region include:

  1. Clarence Valley - major flooding
  2. Orara Valley - major flooding
  3. Coffs Harbour - moderate to major flooding
  4. Bellinger Valley - major flooding
  5. Nambucca Valley - major flooding
  6. Kalang River - major flooding

Miss Hill said personal safety is the main focus during large floods.

"By far the most important message to the community is to never enter floodwater - it is the leading cause of injury and death during floods." 

Home owners and businesses should prepare buildings now for heavy rain by cleaning gutters and drains, and clearing yards of loose items.

"The majority of jobs our volunteers get called out to are easily preventable, so members of the community need to prepare themselves for severe weather and reduce the risk associated," Miss Hill said.

For more information on what to do during floods try the SES' new FloodSafe and StormSafe smartphone apps.

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