Beaches closed as damaging swell batters Coffs Coast
MONDAY 12PM: SIX tourists have been rescued after being swept out to sea at Park Beach.
The group had been paddling on stand-up kayaks in Coffs Creek, when they became caught in a strong outgoing tide.
Lifeguards spotted the six people in trouble, and were quick to respond.
Five of the tourists were quickly rescued, but one man was swept further to sea.
Lifeguards were able to assist him to shore.
His kayak could not be retrieved.
The group - aged in their early 20s - is now recovering.
Beaches on the Coffs Coast remain closed to swimmers due to hazards from strong surf and debris from creeks.
SUNDAY 6.15PM: SES crews from Glen Innes and Albury will arrive in Coffs Harbour tomorrow to help complete the last of the storm clean up.
Coffs Harbour SES unit controller Bill Roffey said the crews will assist with the final 28 clean up jobs of the 206 tasked over the weekend.
Mr Roffey said the last of clean up in Coffs Harbour should be completed by 12pm.
In the Coffs Harbour LGA, about 50 volunteers were on the ground responding to calls for help.
Footage from yesterday's rough conditions at Coffs Harbour Marina:
SUNDAY 5.42PM: KING tides tonight may cause sea water flooding in low lying areas, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.
Tonight's high tide at 8.30pm is tipped to be the highest tide of the year and may potentially be higher than last night's high tide.
Waves along the NSW coast today averaged 5m.
Sky News Weather reported Coffs Harbour had the largest wave, recorded at 11.2m.
SUNDAY 3PM: COASTAL erosion has been recorded at many beaches on the Coffs Coast.
Coffs Harbour City Council this morning carried out an assessment of the damage caused by huge seas and night time king tides.
Park Beach remains closed to swimmers due to heavy surf and hazardous debris spilling from flooded creeks.
During winter, it's the only patrolled beach in Coffs Harbour, but warnings have been issued for all other beaches on the coast.
Coffs Harbour Senior Lifeguard, Sonny Tisdell, said beaches will be reassessed at 9am tomorrow.
Coffs coast beaches closed to swimmers today large surf pollution and debris from flooding creeks. Stay dry & warm pic.twitter.com/UBo4Fivjmk— CHCClifeguards (@chcclifeguards) June 5, 2016
Strong surf and winds continues to lash the Coffs Coast, as seen from Sapphire Beach:
SUNDAY 12.45PM: COFFS Harbour City Council has advised the broken water main at Jack Ladd St has been fixed and water supply restored.
The broken watermain on Coramba Rd is expected to be repaired by 1pm.
SUNDAY NOON: A WATER main break at Jack Ladd St, Coffs Harbour, is affecting water supply in Joyce St, Malouf Cl, Beryl St, William Sharp Dr, Roselands Dr, Safrano Pl, Coramba Rd, Spagnolos Rd, Bennetts Rd and surrounding areas. Council crews are at the scene and working to resolve the issue.
SUNDAY 11.45AM: SOME snaps from around Coffs Harbour this morning:
SUNDAY 11.30AM: GIANT waves crashing along at Coffs Harbour's Northern Breakwall
SUNDAY 9.30AM: COFFS Harbour SES has lifted the evacuation order for residents in low-lying properties along Coffs Creek on the western edge of the Coffs Harbour CBD between the Pacific Hwy and Robin St.
Unit controller Bill Roffey gave the all clear to the affected streets which include Gundagai Pl, Gundagai St, Frances St, Long St, Jean St, Korff St, Eugorie Cl, Moonee St, Scarba St, Loaders Ln, Goodenough Tce, Arygll St and Bray St.
Mr Roffey said 42 people were evacuated from their homes and stayed at C.ex Coffs overnight.
It has been a busy morning for Coffs Harbour SES crews, who have received more than 200 calls for assistance since 8.30am.
Crews have also attended six flood rescues this morning alone.
Mr Roffey said the highest rainfall areas in Coffs Harbour were at Englands Rd with 364mm falling overnight, as well as Gundagai St, which saw 319mm fall.
SUNDAY 9.15AM: TWELVE people were evacuated from their vessels at the Coffs Harbour Marina last night.
Coffs Harbour SES unit controller Bill Roffey said crews were called by police to assist at 2.30am this morning
Marine Rescue Coffs Harbour crews ferried boaters in the harbour to safety after a boardwalk collapsed and a finger wharf was torn adrift, stranding them on board their vessels with no way to reach shore.
Volunteers on board rescue vessel Coffs 30 worked with the Marine Area Command - NSW Police Force and the Coffs Harbour SES to rescue the 12 passengers on boats tied to the wharf.
In winds gusting to 50 knots, the vessel took the passengers aboard and ferried them to shore.
The wharf has now been washed up on the beach in the outer harbour.
MRNSW Mid North Coast regional controller John Murray commended the volunteers for their fast and professional response to these emergencies.
One SES crew member suffered hypothermia during the rescue.
SUNDAY 8.30AM: THE Mid North Coast and surrounding areas are urged to be prepared for more wild weather, according to the latest update from the Bureau of Meteorology.
As the East Coast Low deepens as it travels south, heavy rainfall and winds averaging 65kmh are predicted.
Winds will ease and turn northwesterly as the low passes by.
People should stay well away from the surf and surf-exposed areas.
The low is expected to move south of Sydney early this afternoon.
An average of 307mm of rain has fallen over the upper Orara catchment during the past 24 hours to 7am this morning, with falls of 30mm falling in the last three hours at Lowanna.
This rain is expected to cause moderate flooding at Glenreagh later this afternoon.
Rain is expected to clear from the Orara River Valley later this morning.
Predicted river heights/flows:
- Glenreagh (automatic gauge): peak near 9.5m around 6pm with moderate flooding
- Glenreagh Bridge (manual flood gauge): peak near 7.5m around 7pm with moderate flooding
- Coutts Crossing: peak near 9.5m Monday morning with moderate flooding
FloodSafe advice is available at www.ses.nsw.gov.au. For emergency assistance call the SES on 132 500. For life threatening emergencies, call 000 immediately.
SUNDAY 12AM: A TOTAL of 177mm of rain was recorded in Coffs Harbour today, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Meteorology.
Heavy rain is expected to continue, with 100-200mm of rain predicted to fall in the next 24 hours.
Winds are averaging 60-65kmh on the coast with gusts recorded as strong as 90kmh.
The Bureau of Meteorology says flooding in low-lying areas caused by high tides is likely, as well as erosion from very heavy surf.
For Coffs Harbour, Saturday was the wettest day in June on record, and by far the wettest day of 2016.
Further records could be broken, as daily rainfalls are measured over a 24 hour period from 9.30am.
Wettest days recorded in Coffs Harbour (Updated, Sunday 10am)
1. April 28, 1963 - 404.6mm
2. November 7, 2009 - 371mm
3. January 30, 1967 - 265.7mm
4. March 11, 1974 - 256.4mm
5. December 13, 1991 - 229.6mm
6. June 4, 2016 - 219.6mm
7. February 7, 2002 - 211.6mm
8. February 17, 2009 - 189mm
9. March 12, 1962 - 188.7mm
10. March 9, 1964 - 186.4mm
11. March 14, 2015 - 183.4mm
12. August 24, 1944 - 182.6mm
13. February 1, 2001 - 168.6mm
14. April 22, 1974 - 168.5mm
15. November 24, 1990 - 168.2mm
16. August 21, 2007 - 166.8mm
17. February 6, 2002 - 165.8mm
18. April 27, 1963 - 165.6mm
19. May 11, 1962 - 162.1mm
20. November 18, 2012 - 161.2mm
(Figures based on Bureau of Meteorology daily rainfall data from weather station's at Coffs Harbour Airport and Coffs Harbour Meteorological Office.)
SATURDAY 11.45PM: A MAN is being tested for drug and alcohol intoxication after a head-on car collision south of Coffs Harbour.
A NSW Police spokesman said the two-vehicle collision took place at the Pacific Hwy at Urunga, near the intersection of Hungry Head Rd.
Emergency services arrived on scene at 10.45pm and one driver was transferred to Coffs Harbour Health Campus for a blood and urine test.
The spokesman said the drivers did not sustain serious injuries.
As of midnight, southbound traffic on the Pacific Hwy was still affected at the scene.
SATURDAY 11.30PM: MORE than 40 Coffs Harbour residents will spend tonight at C.ex Coffs after being evacuated from their homes.
The 42 residents were evacuated after Coffs Harbour SES issued a flood evacuation order for homes on low-lying areas near Coffs Creek.
Residents were evacuated from Robin St, Korff St, West High St, Gundagai St, Gundagai Pl, Jean St, Long St, Loaders Ln, Goodenough Tce and Donn Paterson Dr.
SATURDAY 11PM: SEVERAL people have been stranded on their boats as strong surf and winds lash Coffs Harbour Marina.
Marine Rescue NSW has tonight received calls from people who are unable to safely leave their vessels due to conditions affecting the boardwalk and pylons at the marina.
It is believed Coffs Harbour Water Police are on scene.
SATURDAY 10.30PM: WATERFALL Way has reopened in Raleigh following an earlier closure due to flooding.
Heavy rain continues to fall in the area and the Pacific Hwy off-ramp to Waterfall Way remains blocked due to flooding.
A southbound lane on the Pacific Hwy at Hurley Dr in Coffs Harbour has meanwhile been closed due to a car accident.
Roads and Maritime Services are on scene for the vehicle recovery.
One southbound lane has also closed at the Pacific Hwy/Englands Rd roundabout due to flash flooding.
Motorists are strongly urged to exercise extreme caution when driving in adverse weather conditions, and should consider delaying non-essential travel.
SATURDAY 10PM: THE SES has issued a flood evacuation order for residents in several streets in Coffs Harbour.
The order is issued for residents in low-lying properties along Coffs Creek on the western edge of the Coffs Harbour CBD between the Pacific Hwy and Robin St.
Affected streets include Gundagai Pl, Gundagai St, Frances St, Long St, Jean St, Korff St, Eugorie Cl, Moonee St, Scarba St, Loaders Ln, Goodenough Tce, Arygll St and Bray St.
Wherever possible, residents should go and stay with family or friends, or make other accommodation arrangements.
SATURDAY 10PM: TRAFFIC on the Pacific Hwy remains heavily affected by flash flooding.
Flooding has caused a standstill in northbound traffic between Marcia and Bray Sts in Coffs Harbour.
Authorities are assisting vehicles to move slowly through the area.
As of 9.40pm, the Pacific Hwy remained closed in both directions at Raleigh.
SES volunteers have been called to homes near Coffs Creek and Narranga Public School.
Some residents have been asked to evacuate to central Coffs Harbour.
As of 10pm, 167.2mm has filled rain gauges today - making it Coffs Harbour's wettest day since 183.4mm was recorded on March 14 last year.
SATURDAY 9PM: SES and Rural Fire Service volunteers are door knocking in Coffs Harbour's Goodenough Te, McCann Crt, Brindley Crt and Loaders Ln, issuing an evacuation order to residents in case Coffs Creek breaks its banks later tonight or early tomorrow.
Residents in low lying areas are being urged to go to C.ex Coffs.
SATURDAY 8PM: FLOODWATER has risen over the Pacific Hwy at Blackadder Creek between Corindi and Halfway Creek.
That makes three locations on the Coffs Coast where the Pacific Hwy is closed to traffic tonight.
Coffs Harbour's official gauge has received 140mm of rain.
The Coffs Creek reached 4.3m at 7.30pm resulting in minor flooding.
Bellingen has recorded 178mm of rain and the Bellinger River is tipped to exceed minor flood level - 3m at Thora at 9pm and 3.7m at Bellingen at 10pm.
SATURDAY 7.30PM: COFFS-Clarence Police advise the following roads are closed by floodwaters:
- Pacific Hwy crossing of Waterfall Way
- Pacific Hwy crossing of Marcia Street, Coffs Harbour
- Pacific Hwy crossing of Bray St, Coffs Harbour
- Bray, Elm and Frederick Sts area, Coffs Harbour
- North Boambee Rd, Coffs Harbour
Up to 80mm of rain has fallen over the past hour to 6.30pm, the weather bureau reports.
This heavy rainfall is expected to caused minor flooding along Coffs Creek and in the Coffs Harbour urban area.
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
- Coffs Creek is expected to reach 4.3m around 7.30pm this evening with minor flooding and further rises possible.
For emergency assistance, call the SES on 132 500. For life threatening emergencies, call 000 immediately.
SATURDAY 7PM: FLOODWATERS have closed both lanes of the Pacific Hwy at Raleigh near the Waterfall Way flyover.
Emergency services are on scene and traffic is banking up.
The official Coffs Harbour Bureau of Meteorology gauge has now collected 120mm of rain.
To check the state of the roads near you click here.
At Bellingen, 178mm of rain has fallen during the past 24 hours to 6.30pm.
The rain intensity has increased during the past six hours, with 80mm falling during this period.
Further heavy rain is forecast for the next 24 hours.
This forecast rain is expected to cause minor flooding at Thora and Bellingen this evening.
At this stage it is not possible to predict the flood peak because of uncertainty over how much more rain will fall.
SATURDAY 6.30PM: THERE is floodwater over the Pacific Hwy at Marcia St, in the first localised flooding event on the Coffs Coast.
Both lanes of the highway are currently closed.
More than 80mm of rain has fallen in Coffs Harbour today, with almost 40mm falling between 4pm and 6pm.
Motorists are urged to exercise caution and avoid the area if possible.
Emergency services and Roads and Maritime Services are monitoring the situation.
SATURDAY 6PM: Coffs Harbour SES unit controller Bill Roffey says the unit is "flat strapped," with more than 100 calls for assistance received.
More than half those calls have come in during the heaviest rain over the past two hours.
Most of the calls have been for leaking roofs and fallen tree branches.
The Bureau of Meteorology says a host of North Coast river, estuary and creek catchments remain on flood watch.
With rain intensifying over the Coffs Coast, the bureau had logged 25mm had fallen over Coffs Harbour up until 3pm.
More than 40mm fell between 4pm and 6pm Saturday, in the heaviest downpours.
The official Coffs Harbour bureau gauge has collected 80mm over the past 24 hours.
Some areas of the Tweed has so far seen 130mm fall and 23 rivers across the state have been identified as being at risk of flood, including the Mann, Orara river catchments, the Clarence, Coffs Creek, Bellinger, Kalang and Nambucca rivers.
Moderate to major flooding is predicted on the Orara, the Bellinger and Kalang rivers.
While the catchments have been dry for almost a month, there's the concern an abnormally high king tide and heavy seas on Sunday will stop floodwaters from flowing out to sea.
The Flood Watch includes the following river valleys:
- Upper Macintyre - minor flooding
- Gwydir - minor flooding
- Castlereagh - minor flooding
- Macquarie to Bathurst - moderate flooding
- Richmond - moderate to major flooding
- Clarence including Orara - moderate to major flooding
- Coffs Harbour - minor flooding
- Bellinger and Kalang - moderate to major flooding
- Nambucca - moderate flooding
- Macleay - minor to moderate flooding
- Hastings - moderate to major flooding
- Camden Haven - minor flooding
- Manning - minor to moderate flooding
- Myall River including Bulahdelah and Wallis Lake - minor flooding
- Hunter including Paterson Williams - moderate flooding
- Wyong - Tuggerah Lake - minor to moderate flooding
- Nepean Hawkesbury including Colo River - moderate to major flooding
- Georges River including Woronora - moderate to major flooding
- Cooks River - minor flooding
- Shoalhaven - minor to moderate flooding
- St Georges Basin - minor to moderate flooding
- Moruya - moderate to major flooding
- Bega - moderate to major flooding
Flood Warnings have been issued for the Tweed, Brunswick and Wilsons River Valleys.
SATURDAY 10AM: The NSW SES says it has received almost 300 calls for emergency assistance in the past 24 hours.
The worst affected areas include Coffs Harbour, Byron Bay, Port Macquarie, Maitland and Gosford.
Most of the requests for assistance have been for sandbags, leaking roofs, and trees and branches brought down by strong winds.
Coffs Harbour SES unit controller Bill Roffey this morning said no significant damage has been reported in the area overnight, and most local SES volunteers will held off until tonight, when the weather is expected to be at its worst.
SATURDAY 6AM: THE Bureau of Meteorology has issued its first severe weather warning for NSW with expectations an east coast low will form this weekend.
It encourages coastal NSW to prepare for damaging winds, heavy rainfall, abnormally high tides and heavy seas.
An East Coast Low is predicted to develop off the southern Queensland or the northern NSW coast late on Saturday, and is then expected to move southward on Sunday.
Damaging winds from the northeast, averaging 60-65kmh with peak gusts in excess of 90kmh, are possible from Saturday afternoon through to Sunday along much of the coast, the bureau advised this morning.
Winds are expected to ease and turn northwesterly in the north early Sunday.
Heavy rain, which may lead to flash flooding, is possible in the north on Saturday and over the remainder late Saturday and Sunday.
Weekend rainfall totals of 80-150mm are likely for much of the area with localised falls between 200-300mm.
Abnormally high tides may cause sea water flooding of low lying areas are likely.
Water levels will exceed the highest tide of the year during Saturday and Sunday evening high tides and the Sunday morning high tide.
Very heavy surf may also lead to localised damage and coastal erosion is likely.
Beach conditions in these areas will be dangerous and people should stay well away from the surf and surf exposed areas.
Locations which may be affected include Lismore, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Taree, Newcastle, Gosford, Sydney, Wollongong, Nowra, Batemans Bay, Armidale, Goulburn and Tamworth.
FRIDAY 3PM: An East Coast Low is forecast to develop off the coast near the NSW-Queensland border late on Saturday.
This forecast rainfall and high tides have the potential to cause flooding as well as local flash flooding from Saturday and into Sunday and Monday as the weather system moves south.
The Flood Watch includes the following local river valleys:
- Tweed - minor to moderate flooding
- Brunswick - minor to moderate flooding
- Wilsons - moderate flooding
- Richmond - minor to moderate flooding
- Clarence including Orara - moderate flooding
- Coffs Harbour - minor flooding
- Bellinger and Kalang - moderate flooding
- Nambucca - minor to moderate flooding
The State Emergency Service advises that people should:
- Move vehicles under cover or away from trees.
- Secure or put away loose items around your house, yard and balcony.
- Keep clear of fallen power lines.
- Don't drive, ride or walk through flood water.
- Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.
- If you are trapped by flash flooding, seek refuge in the highest available place and ring 000 if you need rescue.
- For emergency help in floods and storms, ring your local SES Unit on 132 500.
- The next warning is due to be issued tonight at 11pm.
FRIDAY NOON: COFFS Harbour SES volunteers are prepared and on alert as floods and strong winds are predicted to hit our region this weekend.
Bureau of Meteorology forecasts say a low pressure system, which deepened over inland NSW yesterday, will reach the Coffs Coast late tomorrow.
It's forecast to bring heavy rainfall that could result in flash flooding.
BOM's Flood Watch is predicting minor floods for Coffs Harbour and Nambucca, and moderate floods in the Bellingen and Kalang areas.
Coffs Harbour SES unit controller Bill Roffey said all hands would be on deck.
"The forecasts might amount to nothing but we've deferred every other activity to focus on the predicted storm event," he said.
"We have flood rescue teams, storm teams and an incident management team ready to respond to anything."
Heavy rain has been forecast to fall on Coffs Harbour at the weekend.
Mr Roffey's advice to people living in areas prone to flooding was simple: "Don't drive, ride or walk through floodwaters because there's plenty of evidence of people getting swept into waterways and drowning," he said.
With winds of up to 40kmh forecast for tomorrow, he also advised residents to clear their yards of loose items.
A sandbag point has been set up at Brelsford Park for residents.