Evacuation warnings are in place for a number of low-lying areas along the New South Wales coast, as record-breaking flooding threatens lives and homes.
A severe weather warning remains active on Saturday for people in Hunter, Sydney, Illawarra, Southern Tablelands, Australian Capital Territory, and parts of the Mid-West Slopes and Snowy Mountains weather districts.
At Kindee Bridge, west of Port Macquarie, the Hastings River has surpassed the record major flood level from February 2013 and could keep rising.
Hundreds of millimetres of rain have already fallen on parts of NSW since Friday, and forecasters warn there is more to come.
Between 9am Friday and 5am Saturday, Delward recorded 373mm of rain, Redoak received 343mm, and Upper Rollands Plains recorded 250mm; including 125.8mm in three hours.
Up to 120mm could fall in Sydney on Saturday.
A Severe Weather Warning for Heavy Rain, Damaging Winds and Damaging Surf has been extended to include Sydney, Blue Mountains and Illawarra as well as the Mid North Coast and the Hunter regions. Details at https://t.co/ZrxQsT2mi6pic.twitter.com/RZ5TPHSLvk
— Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) March 19, 2021
The Bureau of Meteorology warned the rainfall on Saturday could be “dangerous”, with “life-threatening” flash flooding possible.
As of 7.30am on Saturday morning, the Bureau had issued a number of flood warnings;
- Major flood warning for the Hastings River, as major flooding occurs at Kindee Bridge, Wauchope and Settlement Point
- Major flood warning for the Manning and Gloucester Rivers, with major flooding occurring at Gloucester and Wingham, and expected at Taree
- Major flood warning for the Hawkesbury, Nepean and Colo Rivers, with major flooding possible at North Richmond, Windsor and Sackville, and moderate flooding at Menangle, Wallacia, Penrith, Portland and Wisemans Ferry.
- Moderate flood warning for the Nambucca River, as major flooding occurs at Bowraville and Macksville
- Moderate flood warnings for the Macleay River, as moderate flooding occurs at Kempsey and Smithtown.
- Minor flood warning for the Orara River at Glenreagh and Coutts Crossing
- Minor flood warning for the Bellinger River, with minor flooding occurs at Thora
- Minor flood warning for the Myall River, as minor flooding occurs at Bulahdelah
Southern parts of Queensland are also set to receive more rain on Saturday, with up to 100mm possible for the Gold Coast.
Evacuation orders current as of Saturday 11am:
- Central Wingham and the Wingham Peninsular
- Taree Estate, Dumaresq Island and Cundletown
- Laurieton, North Haven, Dunbogan and Diamond Head
- Kings Point and Macksville
- Wauchope and Rawdon Island
- Kempsey CBD
- Lower Macleay
- Port Macquarie