Severe weather and flooding of rivers on the North Coast and Mid North Coast of NSW continues into Friday, with residents of Grafton and surrounding villages being evacuated.
The SES reports that the flood threat continues to spread, with more residents being asked to evacuate as the Clarence and Wilsons Rivers threaten to flood surrounding towns.
A predicted flood level of four metres will be reached at Brushgrove, with the local SES predicting the levee will overtop at midnight and Brushgrove will be inundated.
SES volunteers, including local volunteers with assistance from out of area volunteers, Rural Fire Service (RFS) and NSW Fire Brigades have responded to over 1500 requests for assistance from communities affected by these weather events.
There is still a Flood Watch current for the NSW coastal rivers from the Queensalnd Border to the Port Macquarie for Friday and Saturday.
Areas of concern:
Clarence River (Major Flooding)
A renewal Flood Warning has been issued for the Clarence River. Up to 330 millimetres of rain has fallen in the Clarence Valley during the past 48 hours with very heavy rain falling over the central valley in the 6 hours to 3am.
Further heavy rain is expected in the next 12 to 24 hours which could result in further river rises.
The Bureau of Meteorology has predicted that the Clarence River at Grafton will reach a major flood level of 7.8 metres around 11pm this evening.
Richmond and Wilsons Rivers (Moderate to Major Flooding)
A renewal Flood Warning for the Richmond and Wilsons River was issued by the Bureau of Meteorology which now predicts a peak height of 10.4 metres with major flooding at Lismore around midday Friday May 22nd.
Evacuation orders are still in place for residents and businesses in South, North and the CBD of Lismore.
An evacuation Centre was established at the Southern Cross University and an evacuation shuttle service has also been established.
Tweed River (Minor)
A renewal of the Flood Watch has been issued for the Tweed River. An average of 230 millimetres of rain has fallen in the Tweed River catchment during the 36 hours to 9 pm Thursday night, however no significant rain has fallen since.
The Tweed River at Murwillumbah has dropped below minor flood level (3.0m). Further rainfall is possible over the next 24 hours which could produce some further river rises.
Brunswick River Valley (Minor)
A renewal of the Flood Watch has been issued for the Brunswick River Valley. An average of 160 millimetres of rainfall has fallen in the past 30 hours to 3am this morning.
However, rain has eased overnight. Marshalls Creek at Billinudgel peaked at 2.9 metres at 10.00pm last night. The Brunswick River at Mullumbimby peaked at 2.8 metres at 11.00 pm last night. Further rainfall is possible over the next 48 hours which could produce further river rises.