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NSW weather: BOM issues severe weather warning as flash flooding, heavy rain hits state's north

By Riley Stuart, Wednesday March 15, 2017 - 21:25 EDT
ABC image
A car was caught in Coffs Harbour floodwaters. - ABC

Eight people have been rescued by the New South Wales State Emergency Service and a car has been engulfed by water amid torrential rain in the state's north.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) issued a severe weather warning for heavy rainfall in the northern rivers and parts of the mid-north coast and northern tablelands.

Thursday is expected to be another wet day and the locations which may be affected include Lismore, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Taree, Maclean, Woolgoolga, Sawtell and Dorrigo.

The submerged car, pictured on Hogbin Drive in Coffs Harbour, was one of several caught in widespread flash flooding, with the NSW State Emergency Service rescuing four people trapped in vehicles.

The SES received 304 requests for help by 9pm on Wednesday with Coffs Harbour among the hot spots.

In Sawtell, just south of Coffs Harbour, 217 millimetres of rain had fallen in the 12 hours to 9pm.



That figure represents almost the entire month's average in less than a day.

At Goonengerry, about 30 kilometres inland from Byron Bay, 213mm fell in the 12 hours to 3pm, including a deluge of 82mm between 8:00am and 9:00am.

The BOM is predicting more of the same for the next few days.

"There's still quite a lot of rain around up there, but not the intense falls we saw this morning," duty forecaster Simon Louis said.

"But there's every likelihood that we'll see that kind of stuff developing again tonight and into tomorrow.



"The forecast is for a very wet few days."

Wednesday was the third straight day of storms for NSW, and the SES said it had received more than 932 calls for help since Monday.

SES spokesman Phil Campbell said people should take care on the roads.

"We've been sandbagging a number of properties including a school and disability home in Coffs Harbour," he said.

"We're also working to fix leaking roofs in the area.

"It's important that people do not drive through floodwaters, particularly at night, as it can be difficult to judge how deep the water is and how fast it's flowing."


- ABC

© ABC 2017

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