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VIDEO: Floodwaters recede, top weekly rainfall almost 500mm

MONDAY: THE record books may have to be checked after incredible weekly rainfall figures were posted by the Bureau of Meteorology for most parts of the Coffs Coast. 

March 31, 2009 sure proved one of the region's wettest days in history, but perhaps this past week is pushing high on the records list for highest rainfall in a single week?

We'll get back to you on that front and happy to take your calls, or emails if you can shed some light on that matter. 

Anyhow looking at the rainfall charts from Monday, March 13 to Sunday, March 19 at 12am and the falls are simply astounding. 

The largest rainfall fell in Dorrigo, Red Hill and then Sawtell and Middle Boambee, the bureau advises.  

Going off the charts, it's evident that the let-up in the rain on Friday after falls pushing 50mm on Tuesday, 150mm on Wednesday and a further 100mm on both Saturday and Sunday for some parts may have spared the coast from seeing moderate to major flooding in low lying areas.

Only minor to moderate levels were reached in the Orara, Bellinger, Coffs Creek and Kalang catchments.   

Looking ahead and between 50mm and 80mm is forecast to fall over the next week in Coffs Harbour after early morning showers today.  

WEEKLY RAINFALL - Monday, March 13 to Sunday, March 19 12am 

Boyles Bridge, Corindi - 320mm 

Red Hill, Coffs Harbour - 462.5mm

Shephards Lane, Coffs Harbour - 388.5mm

Bray St, Coffs Harbour - 371mm

Loaders Lane, Coffs Harbour - 413mm

Industrial Drive - 392mm

Sawtell - 454mm

Boambee - 426mm

Middle Boambee - 450.5mm

Woolgoolga Dam - 388mm

Bellinger River (Point Lookout) - 271mm

Dorrigo Mountain Top - 331mm

Dorrigo - 496mm (Note: To Monday 9am)

Gleniffer- 404mm

Kalang - 343mm

Nambucca Heads - 355mm (Note: To Monday 9am).

Bowraville - 314mm

 

SUNDAY 7PM: FLOODWATERS are receding across the Coffs Coast's swollen catchments after only intermittent showers over the past 24 hours. 

A severe thunderstorm warning was issued by the Bureau of Meteorology for Northern New South Wales on Sunday evening but later cancelled for the Mid North Coast although showers are set to continue through to Wednesday. 

Over the past week, the bureau has advised that Coffs Harbour (airport gauge) has collected 333mm, Dorrigo 481mm and Nambucca 331mm. 

Rainfall up to 500mm has been recorded at other weather stations on the Coffs Coast. 

SUNDAY 9AM: AN evacuation order and two evacuation warnings were put in place overnight.

A flood evacuation order is in place for Bellinger River Tourist Park.

Flood evacuation warnings are in place for low lying areas of Urunga and East Bellingen.

Residents at Darkwood and Thora are again cut-off by the flooded Bellinger.  

Road Closures

Hazard water on road: Dorrigo Mountain on Waterfall Way has reopened as of noon Sunday between Little North Arm Rd and Maynards Plains Rd but motorists are urged to exercise caution.

Coffs Clarence police have advised residents and motorists of the following road closures and traffic issues impacting the Coffs Coast region.

  • Waterfall Way between Dorrigo and Bellingen. Caution needed due to flowing waterfalls, mud and debris. 
  • Lavenders Bridge at Bellingen is currently at 6.45 metres and steady. SES personnel are on site.
  • Coramba Rd between Glenreagh and Nana Glen is currently underwater and travel is not advised at this stage. Glenreagh and Grafton is also closed to traffic.

Send us your flood pics to feature in Wednesday's paper editorial@coffscoastadvocate.com.au

 

RIVER CATCHMENTS:

Bellinger River:

Up to 20mm of rain has been observed during the past 6 hours to 4:30 am Sunday over the Bellinger River valley.

No significant rain is forecast for the rest of Sunday.

Moderate flooding is occurring along the Bellinger River at Thora and minor flooding is occurring along the Bellinger River at Bellingen.

The Bellinger River at Thora peaked at 5.40m around 10pm Saturday and is currently at 5.14m and falling with moderate flooding.

The Bellinger River at Bellingen peaked at 6.88m around 1am Sunday and is currently at 6.64m and falling with minor flooding.

The Bellinger River at Repton is currently peaking around 1.8m below the minor flood level (2m).

 

Kalang River


Kalang River at Kooroowi peaked at 4.1m around midnight and is falling.

The Kalang River at Urunga is currently peaking around 1.21m below the minor flood level (1.5m).

 

Orara River

Minor flooding is occuring along the Orara River at Glenreagh and Coutts Crossing. Moderate flooding is predicted along the Orara River at Coutts Crossing.

The Orara River at Glenreagh Bridge (manual flood gauge) peaked near 7.4m on Sunday morning with moderate flooding. The Orara River at Glenreagh Bridge (manual flood gauge) is likely to fall below the minor flood level (4m) during Monday.

The Orara River at Coutts Crossing is likely to peak near 9.80m during Sunday with moderate flooding.

 

The Bureau of Meteorology's rainfall totals for Coffs Harbour through to noon Sunday.
The Bureau of Meteorology's rainfall totals for Coffs Harbour through to noon Sunday.

 

Nambucca River

No significant rainfall has fallen over the Nambucca Valley since 1am Sunday.

River levels at Bowraville fell below the minor flood level (5.5 metres) Sunday morning.

 

A snapshot of the incidents SES crews have responded to over the past 24 hours on the Mid North Coast.
A snapshot of the incidents SES crews have responded to over the past 24 hours on the Mid North Coast.

 

SATURDAY 5PM: MINOR flood warnings have been issued for Coffs Creek and the Orara and Bellinger rivers. 

The Coffs Harbour City State Emergency Service is on standby after the bureau advised the catchment upstream of Coffs Harbour has received considerable rainfall in excess of 100mm and minor flooding is expected on Sunday morning. 

The Bureau of Meteorology's rainfall observations updated as of noon Saturday.
The Bureau of Meteorology's rainfall observations updated as of noon Saturday.

COFFS CREEK

With the weather system set to deliver further heavy showers on Saturday night, the bureau says minor flood levels of 3-metres on Coffs Creek should be reached by 3am on Sunday. 

The SES says it is monitoring creek heights very closely. 

Moderate Flood Warning for the Orara River
at Glenreagh and Coutts Crossing
 

ORARA RIVER

UP to 68mm of rain has been recorded during the past 12 hours to noon Saturday over the Orara River Valley

Further rainfall is forecast for the next 24 hours.

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

Moderate flooding is predicted along the Orara River at Glenreagh and Coutts Crossing

The Orara River at Glenreagh Bridge (manual flood gauge) is expected to exceed the minor flood level (4m) early Saturday afternoon. The river level may reach the moderate flood level (7m) late Saturday evening.

The Orara River at Coutts Crossing is expected to exceed the minor flood level (5m) on Saturday afternoon.

The river level may reach the moderate flood level (9m) during Sunday.

 

BELLINGER RIVER

Up to 231mm of rain has been observed during the past 24 hours to 1pm Saturday over the Bellinger River valley.

Further heavy rain is forecast for the next 12 hours.

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

Minor flooding is occurring along the Bellinger River at Thora and Bellingen. Moderate flooding is predicted along the Bellinger River at Thora and Bellingen.

The Bellinger River at Thora is likely to reach the moderate flood level (4.30 m) Saturday night.

The Bellinger River at Bellingen may reach the moderate flood level (6.70 m) Sunday morning.

http://Watch Kombu Food's timelapse of the Bellinger River in flood. 

The Bellinger River is in flood today.
The Bellinger River is in flood today.

fb.me/6vkQFPkfo

 

KALANG RIVER
Significant river level rises are being observed along the Kalang River at Kooroowi.

Downstream at Urunga, river levels are expected to remain below the minor flood level.

 

WEATHER SYSTEM

A slow-moving low pressure system off the far north coast extends a trough to the Mid North Coast and Hunter districts.

This system is generating widespread rain with isolated thunderstorms embedded within the rainband.

Heavy rain, which may lead to flash flooding is expected across the Mid North Coast and parts of the Northern Rivers and adjacent ranges today.

Damaging winds averaging 60 to 70 km/h with peak gusts in excess of 90km/h are possible along the coastal fringe for southern parts of the Northern Rivers and northern parts of the Mid North Coast.

Conditions are expected to ease for most areas during Sunday as the low and associated trough weaken.

Locations which may be affected include Yamba, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Taree, Sawtell and Dorrigo. 

A second trough has developed off the Mid North Coast with a severe weather warning and flood watch issued for the Coffs Coast.
A second trough has developed off the Mid North Coast with a severe weather warning and flood watch issued for the Coffs Coast. Angela Carroll

 

SATURDAY 6AM: THE Bureau of Meteorology has warned a second inundation will hit the Coffs Coast this weekend with a developing trough to bring more widespread heavy rain.

It has been just a slight reprieve for Coffs City State Emergency Service crews who responded to more than 70 call-outs this week.

The bureau advised a second trough is forming over the north coast prompting a second flood watch to be issued for Coffs Creek, the Orara and Bellinger rivers.

Sunny Sawtell this week grabbed a new claim to fame as the wettest location in NSW after it saw 300mm of rain in three days.

That rainfall, most of which fell over a 10 hour period, is the equivalent to the typical rainfall that Uluru sees in a year.

Norm Minter's Sawtell unit in Boronia St, Sawtell flooded for the third time in 16 years this week.
Norm Minter's Sawtell unit in Boronia St, Sawtell flooded for the third time in 16 years this week. Trevor Veale

For Sawtell resident Norm Minter, its been a tough week. 

A resident of a unit block in Boronia St, Norm's property backs onto Chinaman's Creek, which has been inundated with two feet of water this week.

It's the third flooding in the 16 years he has lived there. 

Norm was one of 132 residents assisted by the SES across the state on Wednesday. 

In its latest severe weather warning the bureau advised that heavy rain may lead to flash flooding.

24-hour totals of in excess of 100 mm are expected across Coffs Harbour, Sawtell and Dorrigo.  

NSW SES volunteers have now received 932 jobs from severe weather with flooding now occuring in the State's north east corner.
NSW SES volunteers have now received 932 jobs from severe weather with flooding now occuring in the State's north east corner. NSW SES

THURSDAY 4PM: AS THE sun shines and the flood waters subside, the north coast has been told to brace itself for a second onslaught of torrential rain and thunder storms as early as tomorrow.  

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a further warning this afternoon: Prepare for flooding.

Another trough off the north coast is expected to develop tomorrow, bringing further downpours from late Friday and over the weekend.

"We're going to see some renewed heavy rainfall along the same areas impacted over the last couple of days ... I guess our particular focus is around the mid north coast - Coffs Harbour, the Bellinger/Nambucca and also the Wilsons (River) at Lismore is a concern as well," Justin Robinson, BOM's NSW said.

However, Mr Robinson said BOM's flood watch, stretching all the way down to the Manning and including the Hastings and Macleay river valleys, would remain.

Sawtell has been the wettest place in New South Wales, with torrential rain dumping 300mm over the past three days.

A whopping 230mm bucketed down in the past 24 hours alone as the NSW mid north coast and northern rivers region copped a deluge.

The torrential rain across the state has left emergency services frantically responding to call-outs, with 132 incidents overnight.

The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting a further 20 to 40mm for Coffs Harbour on Friday, 40 to 80mm on Saturday and 20 to 40mm on Sunday. 

The rain is likely to hit the Coffs Coast tomorrow according to weatherzone between 10am and midday. 

With that is forecast to come 24 hours of heavy showers.

This Flood Watch provides early advice for possible future flooding along all rivers, creeks and overland flow paths within a nominated valley.

Rainfall is expected to ease along the NSW Northern Rivers and Mid-North Coast today.

Another trough off the north coast is expected to develop tomorrow and is expected to bring signficant rainfall to the Northern Rivers and Mid-North Coast of NSW from late Friday and over the weekend.

The severe weather warning for heavy rain across Saturday and Sunday.
The severe weather warning for heavy rain across Saturday and Sunday.

This rainfall has the potential to cause flooding to develop in the following river valleys from late Friday onwards:

1. Brunswick - minor flooding

2. Wilsons - minor to moderate flooding

3. Richmond - minor flooding

4. Clarence -minor flooding

5. Orara - moderate flooding

6. Coffs Coast - minor flooding

7. Bellinger - moderate flooding

8. Nambucca - minor to moderate flooding

9. Macleay - minor to moderate flooding

10. Hastings - moderate flooding

11. Manning - minor to moderate flooding

A Flood Warning remains current for the Wilsons river at Lismore.

This Flood Watch means that people living or working along rivers and streams must monitor the latest weather forecasts and warnings and be ready to move to higher ground should flooding develop.

Flood Warnings will be issued if Minor Flood Level is expected to be exceeded at key sites along the main rivers for which the Bureau of Meteorology provides a flood warning service.

Across NSW, about 70% of Flood Watches are followed by flooding.

Topics:  bureau of meteorology editors picks floods new south wales



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