The main drag of the typically picturesque tourist town of Byron Bay has been reduced to a mini river following flash flooding as NSW braces for another day of wild weather.
Torrential rain for more than a week has caused flooding in Byron Bay, Mullumbimby, Brunswick Heads and Ocean Shores regions.
Locals were seen wading through floodwater on Byron Bay’s main street on Sunday morning to get to their cars, while others braved the wet weather to dine out for lunch.
Horizon Drive and Westland Drive in West Ballina – a half hour drive south of Byron Bay – have been affected by flooding, with locals advised to drive with caution.
Locals were seen wading through floodwater on Byron Bay’s main street on Sunday morning to get to their cars
Byron Bay, which is typically overrun this time of year with holidaymakers, recorded 18mm of rain in the 24 hours to 8am on Sunday
Some Byron Bay locals and tourists braved the wet weather for their morning coffee run on Sunday
Torrential rain for more than a week has caused flooding in Byron Bay, Mullumbimby, Brunswick Heads and Ocean Shores regions
Byron Bay, which is typically overrun this time of year with holidaymakers, recorded 18mm of rain in the 24 hours to 8am on Sunday.
Further south, parts of Port Macquarie, Taree and nearby towns have also flooded in what Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Sunday labelled a ‘one-in-100-year event’ for the region.
‘This will be a deep-seated, extreme weather event … It’s not going to be an easy week for us,’ she told reporters.
‘None of us are out of the woods while the storm front is moving south. The rain may not stop until Thursday or Friday. I hope those predictions are wrong.’
The State Emergency Service has advised Picton residents in the Warragamba Dam catchment to get ready to leave when instructed to do so.
For NSW residents not in immediate danger, the premier urged them to restrict their movements and heed all warnings.
Nine evacuation are centres open in NSW – seven on the mid-north coast and two in the Hunter region.
Emergency Services Minister David Elliott said the State Emergency Service’s 500 flood rescues was ‘completely unacceptable’.
‘That’s 500 crews that have put their lives at risk because people have not heeded the warnings,’ he said.
There are multiple flood warnings for rivers including the Nepean, Hawkesbury and Colo.
Major flooding is possible at North Richmond, Windsor and Sackville, from late Saturday, the SES said.
There are concerns for communities along the Georges River, an urban river in the city’s south, and on the Hawkesbury/Nepean river system to the north and west of Sydney.
‘It’s a very dynamic and evolving flood situation and we could see some very deep and rapidly responding rivers with very high levels,’ BOM national flood services manager Justin Robinson told reporters.
Parts of Port Macquarie (pictured) and nearby towns have flooded and further south Taree is in the grip of a flood rivalling its worst on record nearly 100 years ago
This entire street near the Paterson river in Hinton, in the NSW Hunter region, is underwater
Port Macquarie is now almost underwater as the Mid North Coast town is lashed with torrential rain
River systems on the mid-north coast that have already flooded communities are expected to cop more rain on Saturday night and on Sunday, as Sydney’s river systems swell dramatically.
Senior BOM climatologist Agata Imielska said greater Sydney could expect about 100mm of rain during the next 24 hours or so, but the lower Blue Mountains is expected to get 200-300mm.
The band is moving down from the Kimberley and will reach eastern NSW from Monday night, when it will ‘link up’ with the slow-moving coastal trough that is causing the flooding in NSW.
Parts of Port Macquarie, and several nearby towns, have flooded and further south, Taree is in the grip of a flood rivalling its worst on record 92 years ago.