Prepare now with 450mm rain dump predicted for Tweed
MODERATE to major flooding is forecast for the Tweed from tomorrow with up to 450mm of rain predicted to fall across the region on Thursday and Friday.
Tweed SES Unit Controller Kristine McDonald said crews were organising sandbags in preparation for the weather event and urged residents to make plans today ahead of its arrival.
"We've put all our volunteers on standby and we're actually going to look at starting to produce sandbags today in preparations for the event," she said.
"We are also looking at the potential of isolations, so people who are concerned about their area, if they put in plans for early departure to a safe residence just in case they are concerned they might become isolated.
"With regards to the storm activity, they have forecast gale force winds. If people prepare their homes and backyards, they should be trying to make their area safe for themselves and their neighbours."
She said people who needed sandbags should contact 132 500.
The latest Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) Flood Watch, issued at 10.39am today, says people living or working along rivers and streams must "monitor the latest weather forecasts and warnings and be ready to move to higher ground should flooding develop".
Andrew McPhee, NSW SES Richmond Tweed Region Controller, said people should begin preparing before the weather sours.
"People in the Northern Rivers need to be aware of the imminent weather and the potential flooding effects that it may cause later in the week," he said.
"People need to start preparing their homes now while the weather still permits.
"Avoid any unnecessary travel over the next few days and take care on the roads if travel can't be avoided."
His warning came after power outages were experienced across the Tweed today.
BoM predicted the Northern Rivers would receive heavy rainfall from the moisture feeding into NSW from the remnants of the tropical cyclone and from a cold front which was crossing the state.
Tweed Valley, Brunswick Valley and Richmond Valley can expect moderate to major flooding while the Clarence Valley can expect minor to moderate flooding, according to BoM.
BoM Forecasts for Tweed Heads and Murwillumbah show up to 250mm could fall across the region tomorrow and 200mm on Friday.
A Northern Rivers weather warning said: "24 hour totals in excess of 100mm are expected over the Northern Rivers district during Thursday, and it is likely that some locations will exceed more than 200mm".
Mr McPhee said this weather system had the potential to cause river flooding as well as local flash flooding.
Damaging winds averaging 65km/h with gusts in excess of 90km/h are possible along the coastal fringe north of about Sydney from Thursday afternoon, extending northwards during Thursday night and Friday.
- FloodSafe advice is available at www.ses.nsw.gov.au
- For emergency assistance call the SES on telephone number 132 500.
- For life threatening emergencies, call 000 immediately.
Farmers and other landholders should keep a watch on their streams and be prepared to move pumps, equipment and livestock to higher ground.
For road information contact your local council or visit the myroadinfo.com.au website or for main roads call the Roads Maritime Service on 132 701.
The NSW State Emergency Service advises that people should:
* Move your car under cover or away from trees.
* Secure or put away loose items around your house, yard and balcony.
* Keep clear of fallen power lines.
* Unplug computers and appliances.
* Avoid using the phone during the storm.
* Stay indoors away from windows, keep children and pets indoors as well.