Emergency services warn saturated catchments could cause flash flooding.
Emergency services warn saturated catchments could cause flash flooding. Rob Wright

Saturated catchments at risk of flash flooding

EMERGENCY crews are on standby with already saturated catchments to be hit by heavy rain over the next 48-hours.

The water levels are expected to rise quickly due to the saturation of the ground following the recent floods.  

The Bureau of Meteorology's Dimitri Danchuk said the slow-moving tropical low is bringing the latest rain.

"It hasn't moved much," Mr Danchuk said.

"It's off the south-eastern Queensland coast, but there are signs that it's started a gradual approach to the far north coast.

"It is likely to make landfall at some stage in the early hours of Friday."

The bureau has issued a flood watch for all coastal river valleys from the Hunter north to the Queensland border, saying there is a 75% chance of flooding over the next few days.

The State Emergency Service says it has deployed around 130 extra volunteers to the state's north in anticipation of the approaching weather system.

The weather bureau says there could be local falls of more than 200mm.

Coffs Harbour SES spokesman Bill Roffey says sand is being piled in Brelsford Park for people to fill their own sandbags, less than a month after the area's last flooding.

"For this one we're actually doing a fair bit of preparation we had done since Australia Day anyway," Mr Roffey said. 

"We did a lot then, we're doing even more now for what is about to occur."

 

THE WEATHER SITUATION 

Very heavy rain, which may lead to flash flooding are forecast for the Northern Rivers and Mid North Coast from late Thursday afternoon or evening and into Friday.

Locations which may be affected include Lismore, Grafton, Bellingen, Coffs Harbour, Woolgoolga, Sawtell and Dorrigo.

As the low tracks southwestwards on Friday, heavy rain and damaging winds are expected to extend southwards to central parts of the coast and may affect locations such as Kempsey and Port Macquarie.

A flood watch has been issued for NSW coastal river valleys from the Queensland border to the Hunter Valley.

Damaging winds around 60 km/h with peak gusts of 90 km/h are forecast for the coastal fringe of the Northern Rivers forecast district on Thursday and will extend to northern parts of the Mid North Coast on Friday morning.

Very heavy surf, which may lead to localised damage and coastal erosion is forecast for the Northern Rivers forecast district and parts of the Mid North Coast.

For local road closures go to: http://midnorthcoast.myroadinfo.com.au/

The radar shows the low pressure system tracking south this afternoon.
The radar shows the low pressure system tracking south this afternoon.

 

11AM: A SEVERE weather warning has been issued for the Coffs Coast, as the strong low pressure system off Queensland tracks south today.

The system is this morning located off the Queensland border and is expected to move south to southwestwards towards the northern New South Wales coast throughout Thursday and early Friday.

The Bureau of Meteorology in its 11am warning advised that rain and showers would become more widespread and heavier along the northern New South Wales coast and adjacent ranges.

The wind and surf will also increase and become damaging.

Falls of between 40mm and 80mm are expected to fall over the region today.

The bureau says up to 400mm of rain could collected in gauges on the Coffs Coast over the coming week.



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