As it happens: the Valley prepares as floodwaters rise

This photo was submitted by Graham Mackie and was taken in the Upper Clarence near Carnham
This photo was submitted by Graham Mackie and was taken in the Upper Clarence near Carnham


Debrah Novak has been out at Coutts Crossing where she spoke to Clarence Valley Mayor Richie Williamson's dad, Peter, who was the flood meter reader once upon a time.

Mr Williamson said he reckons the Orara will peak at 5am tomorrow morning and he's expecting it to be higher than the 1974 flood.

She hasn't had time to upload her photos and video yet as she is now headed for the skies in the SES Rescue Helicopter to take some exclusive aerial shots of the flooding.

The trip has been postponed as the SES are choppering a dog that's been bitten by a brown snake to a vets in Grafton.

We've just reported a tragic death near Copmanhurst where a man's body was found in a car in floodwater.

More on this story here>>>

The Clarence is expected to peak tomorrow at 1am at 5.8 metres in Grafton. It will later peak in Ulmarra at 4.6 metres and Maclean at 2.3 metres.

Photo taken at Shannons Ck Rd at Coutts Crossing by Jamie Starr.
Photo taken at Shannons Ck Rd at Coutts Crossing by Jamie Starr.

2pm - report by Lachlan Thompson

An SES spokeswoman said they have received 82 calls in the Grafton area in the past 24 hours with localised flooding and tree breakages the major problems.

She said with currently predicted flood levels we can expect inundation in low lying farm land.

The Glenwood Tourist Park is also expected to flood.

As the Alipou Ck levee had been damaged during the January floods the SES said it was possible the Pacific Hwy would be cut again at South Grafton.

Residents in Coutts Crossing said the flood level is already at a record level.

Helen Shelton at the Coutts Tavern said the areas which had been inundated were the Coutts Crossing Preschool and the area around the Golf Course.

"I've never seen it this high and I've lived here for 18 years," she said.

It appears the east coast low which was the cause of all the rain and wild weather has moved south of the Valley.


Our photographer Debrah Novak is on her way to Coutts Crossing, where locals are saying it's the worst flooding they've seen. More to come.


THE sandbagging efforts continue as a major flood warning for the Clarence River remains in place.

Daily Examiner photographer Debrah Novak has driven from Yamba to Grafton stopping in at all the communities on the way.

According to BOM there has been some easing of the rainfall across the Clarence River Valley this morning.

River levels at Nymboida peaked near 13.4 metres around 3 am this morning.

Major flooding is forecast at Grafton.

Further rain is forecast for the next 24 hours. At this stage it is not possible to predict the flood peak because of uncertainty over how much more rain will fall.
Predicted River Heights/Flows:


- reach 5.8 metres around 3 am Sunday, with major flooding.


- reach 4.6 metres around 6am Sunday, with major flooding.


- reach 2.3 metres around Midday Monday, moderate flooding.

Near Carnham in the Upper Clarence Graham Mackie gave this report this morning:

"All roads are cut here again - Carnham Bridge is way under
"The Mann River is flowing faster than anyone has ever seen it and last night's Dorrigo rain is yet to reach here - so it's all coming your way."

11am Ulmarra - The SES were sandbagging near the levee wall in Ulmarra. Another community still recovering from the January flood.

SES sandbagging at Ulmarra
SES sandbagging at Ulmarra



A Brushgrove resident tries to hose out her property after all the rain yesterday.
A Brushgrove resident tries to hose out her property after all the rain yesterday.

Brushgrove 10am: A resident tries to hose out her home after all the rain yesterday. The community is still recovering from last month's floods.

9am Maclean and Harwood: All was fairly calm in the Lower River this morning and reporter Debrah Novak described the mood in Maclean as "casual". She caught up with SES crew member Ken Crampon as he checked the river heights.

Ken Crampon checks the river heights at Maclean.
Ken Crampon checks the river heights at Maclean.

7am Yamba: Sea foam covers Main Beach and we hear a wedding is supposed to be on later today.

Yamba covered in sea foam after storm.
Yamba covered in sea foam after storm. Debrah Novak

Topics:  flood

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