Volunteers from local State Emergency Service (SES) units in the Northern Rivers Region are on standby with more than 80 personnel deployed from Sydney, the Southern Highlands and the Illawarra/South Coast to assist in the area.
A deepening trough off the southern Queensland coast, with a series of embedded lows, is expected to move slowly south. This system will result in widespread torrential rain, high winds and large waves over north-eastern parts of the State over the coming few days. This system is not expected to weaken and move away from north-east NSW until later Saturday.
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a Severe Weather Warning for Flash Flooding, Damaging Wind, Abnormally High Tides and Damaging Surf for people in the Northern Rivers, Northern Tablelands and Mid North Coast. This system is expected to bring damaging winds and increased rainfall to the area around Cape Byron early this morning.
A Severe Weather Warning for Lord Howe Island is also current for damaging winds and a Sheep Graziers Warning for the Northern Rivers, Mid North Coast and Northern Tablelands is also current.
There are also Flood Warnings current for the Tweed River and Brunswick River. A Flood Watch is also current for rivers from the Queensland Border to the Nambucca.
A total of 10 properties were evacuated at Fingal Head Wednesday afternoon with an evacuation centre being established at Kingscliffe TAFE.
Fingal Road is expected to be cut by the high tide this morning, isolating approximately 318 properties at Fingal Head.
A further 300 properties in the South Murwillumbah area were doorknocked by SES volunteers with precautionary evacuation information.
An evacuation centre was established at the Catholic Centre to cater for any evacuees from this area. Both evacuation centres have now closed.
Approximately 200 requests for assistance have come through to the SES with the majority of these from the North Coast of NSW.
The SES is urging people in Northern NSW to make sure they are well-prepared for severe weather and flooding over the next couple of days.
The SES advises that people living or working along rivers and streams to monitor the latest weather forecasts and warnings and be ready to evacuate if advised.
In many cases, flash flooding provides little warning and this can be less than six hours. Residents in flash flood areas need to ensure they prepare themselves, their family and property as much as possible prior to the event happening.
There are many things that people can still do to prepare for this weather event:
Check to ensure roof gutters and down pipes are clear to help prevent flooding into roof spaces
Check stormwater drains are clear to assist run-off
Look at the placement of sandbags and other flood mitigation options available if flooding has been experienced in the past
Secure loose items around the property that have the potential to be moved by flood waters or become projectiles in strong winds, this includes outdoor furniture, rubbish bins and trampolines
People living or working along rivers and streams must monitor latest weather forecasts and warnings and be ready to move to higher ground
Farmers and other landholders should keep a watch on their streams and be prepared to move pumps, equipment and livestock to higher ground
Most importantly, people should never drive, ride or walk through or allow their children to play in floodwaters, which can be very powerful, run fast and deep and contain hidden debris, as entering floodwater has proven to be the greatest killer in floods. More information is available on the SES FloodSafe page. Road closure information can be found on the RTA website.
If you need emergency assistance as a result of flooding, contact your local SES on 132 500. For life-threatening emergencies call 000.