Storms continue after beach ‘swallowed’
More storms are set to smash a 1000 km stretch of Australia's east coast, with a combination of high-spring tides and severe weather warnings in place as residents rush to protect properties.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has issued dangerous weather warnings for northeast New South Wales and southeast Queensland as the areas continue to be lashed with wild storms that are leading to significant coastal erosion.
It comes after Byron Bay's Main Beach was "swallowed" according to some observers, with the local mayor warning it had all but "disappeared".
Residents have been told to expect "damaging winds and heavy rainfall" in Queensland while NSW fared no better, with the BOM stating "dangerous rain and coastal erosion" is expected to worsen in the affected areas.
⚠️Severe weather warning update⚠️— Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland (@BOM_Qld) December 14, 2020
The threat of damaging winds and heavy rainfall has eased over Queensland, but surf & tide hazards continue on the coast. A severe thunderstorm warning for heavy rainfall continues further north in the #WideBay. Warnings: https://t.co/3xfTNPaeNb pic.twitter.com/HBToRrH6nd
Severe Weather Update: dangerous rain and #erosion continue in northeast #NSW and southeast #QLD. Video current at at 11:30 am AEST Monday 14 December 2020.— Bureau of Meteorology, Australia (@BOM_au) December 14, 2020
Latest forecasts: https://t.co/boJ4ZEiUYA @QldFES @NSWSES pic.twitter.com/hR9sMkXFcU
A spokeswoman said there will be increased rain, wind and waves on Tuesday morning but said conditions would ease "at some point."
"The expectation at the moment is later in the day. But, certainly, [Tuesday] morning we'd be expecting some increased rain, wind and waves. The surf does look like it'll hang around for a bit longer now."
The BOM's Queensland branch issued a flood watch and severe weather warning from Fraser Island to the Queensland-NSW border, warning of river level rises and minor flooding.
"The Logan, Albert and south coast River catchment areas are now saturated with renewed river level rises expected with forecast rainfall," it said. "Storms are expected throughout the flood watch area during Monday and into Tuesday."
In NSW heavy rainfall was expected to intensify on Monday evening before easing late Tuesday or early Wednesday.
Heavy rainfall is expected in the mid-north coast along with thunderstorms, flash flooding, damaging winds and surf and abnormally high tides that could lead to "significant" beach erosion north of the Ballina area, the BOM said.
RELATED: Byron Bay's Main Beach washed away
BYRON'S MAIN BEACH 'SWALLOWED'
The coastline has been pummelled by gale-force winds and extreme high tides in the last few days, leading to over 900 requests for assistance over the course of the savage weather event. Karlene York from the SES said "most of the jobs we're assisting with are fallen trees, leaking roofs and windows".
As the areas prepare for another day of up 104km/h winds which were recorded in Cape Byron Monday morning, social media has been filled with images of damage inflicted in the 1000km danger zone.
Byron Bay saw 6m waves and abnormally high tides. Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson told Sky News he hopes the main beach will be able to recover.
"It's a beach that we all hold really dear," he said. "We've had quite a lot of erosion events leading up to this previously and obviously we've got another big king tide tomorrow and some more gnarly weather so hopefully we all batten down the hatches and so does this particular area and when the water recedes the beach can begin to restore itself."
Mr Richardson called for locals and tourists to be responsible and remain safe by not driving on flooded roads.
"Along the coast the waves have been huge, we're looking up to five metre waves, we've got large swells, crazy water, we've also got king tides and really high water levels smashing along the whole coast," he said.
#ByronBay's Main Beach was swallowed by the ocean this morning as damaging surf and an abnormally high tide hit parts of Australia's east coast.— Weatherzone (@weatherzone) December 14, 2020
🎥 Video by @wrecklanecoffeeco/IG pic.twitter.com/hEnfK92Btk
Queensland Police shared photos of a "serious landslide" in Mount Tamborine that showed huge boulders that had closed Tamborine Mountain Road, locally known as the goat track.
"Now that's a big rock," one post read, showing a police officer beside a giant boulder.
Now that is one BIG rock! pic.twitter.com/Kq3TsNFudJ— Queensland Police (@QldPolice) December 14, 2020
A jaw-dropping video of First Bay Coolum's usually pristine beach completely encased in thick mounts of murky white foam also captivated social media, showing the lathery white substance wobbling on top of the water in the aftermath of the brutal weather.
Sunshine Coast Daily shared a video of water surging over a spillway at Wappa Dam which was currently sitting at nearly 110 per cent capacity with more rain expected.
Check out the water gushing over the spillway at Wappa Dam!— Sunshine Coast Daily (@the_daily) December 14, 2020
Seqwater is reporting the dam is currently sitting at a capacity of 108.7 per cent as more heavy rainfall is expected to drench the region today. 💧🌧️
READ THE LATEST HERE: https://t.co/62pK1tBCfk pic.twitter.com/LnndiLzz1T
Thousands were left without power in many areas with police closing roads as debris falls from buildings and trees.
Originally published as Storms continue after beach 'swallowed'