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NSW flooding: Severe weather warning issued as storms move north

Tuesday January 5, 2016 - 22:08 EDT
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Myall River campground north of Newcastle was flooded after a fierce downpour. - ABC

Emergency crews have been kept busy by localised flooding as heavy rain continues to fall in parts of New South Wales, with some holiday-makers forced to abandon their campsites.

A severe weather warning is in place for the mid north coast and Hunter districts, with heavy rain expected to continue through the week.

Further south, a developing east coast low is moving over the area after unleashing more than 200 millimetres of rain over several south coast regions.

About 260 SES volunteers are on the ground responding to calls for assistance due to the heavy rain and localised flooding.



Crews at Eden on the NSW south coast have rescued children and animals, the SES's Jacqueline Rose said.

"There was also a rescue today where five children needed to be rescued from a vehicle and they're all safe now," she said.

"There was an animal rescue where there was 15 sheep and three cows but they're all safe."

On the mid north coast, Warren Fittock said his house in Bulahdelah had been flooded by the deluge.



"Yeah mate she just rained all night, water come in here about 10 o'clock this morning, come up about a foot high," he said.

"Luckily we got everything up, out of the road. Be all good tomorrow, clean her up.

"[I'm] just a bit worried about ... it's still raining, and it's forecast more rain. What happens tonight, that'll be the big thing."

Campers forced to move

Torrential rain and strong winds have forced holidaymakers to abandon campsites across the Hunter and mid north coast regions.

Tracey Moore, manager of the Hawks Nest Beach Holiday Park north of Newcastle, said campers were being forced to move on from the area.

"We've tried to relocate them in accommodation that we have available but others have also chosen to leave early," Ms Moore said.

"We have 275 sites and every one of them is full.

"There is water everywhere, my husband has been out in the park and it's even coming through the door in our office. It's just full on at the moment."

Despite the conditions, some campers refused to give up on their camping holiday at Hawks Nest.

"It's been pretty crazy, wind blowing all night, we've been up since three o'clock, trying to peg tarps back down and the water's been coming in our tents," one teenage camper said.

"We had to go to Vinnies and get these get-ups - some new jumpers and some long pants ?? because everything's just ruined," she said.

"We've still got another two weeks left, so hopefully she'll improve."



A statement from the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) said heavy rain on Tuesday may lead to flooding for parts of the mid north coast and Hunter districts including the central coast, most likely between The Entrance and Port Macquarie.

"Widespread 24-hour totals of 50 to 100 millimetres are likely in these areas during Tuesday, with some falls of 100 to 200 millimetres expected and isolated falls in excess of 200 millimetres possible," the statement said.


Areas that may be affected included Taree, Forster, Newcastle, Maitland, Swansea.

A total of 206 millimetres of rainfall fell at Plumwood, near Moruya, and 188 millimetres at Redoak near Lauriton.

There was 164 millimetres of rainfall recorded at Brogo Dam and 125 millimetres at Moruya Airport.

The Moruya and Bega rivers broke their banks on Monday, but a statement on the BoM website said water levels had peaked in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

'If the road is flooded always err on the side of caution'



Motorists have been warned to use caution on flooded roads.

A motorist was rescued on Tathra Road in Bega after his car became marooned in rising flood water on Monday.

Another driver was fined $425 for negligent driving when he became stuck on a flooded bridge Bermagui Road, Murrah.

The 45-year-old man's four-wheel drive became trapped while attempting to cross the flooded bridge.

Police and another passing driver assisted the man.

A police spokeswoman said they have reminded the community never to drive, ride or walk through floodwaters.

"It is extremely dangerous as fast-moving undercurrents can quickly wash people and vehicles away," the spokeswoman said.

SES fielding hundreds of calls for help

SES crews are battling to respond to more than 230 calls for assistance across the state today, due to the heavy rain and localised flooding.

There have been 160 calls for help in western Sydney, mainly leaking roofs and trees down. The SES responded to 40 calls for help in Penrith.

Local volunteers in Newcastle have been responding to requests for sandbagging, amid flash flooding.

Sydney SES spokeswoman Sue Pritchard said there had been calls for help in Sydney's south, the Illawarra and south coast areas.

"We've had over 350 calls for assistance over the last 24/48 hours," Ms Pritchard said.

"It's mainly been for leaking roofs and roof damage, but we also have had some damage of reports of flooding so we've been assisting with some sandbagging in properties as well."


- ABC

© ABC 2016

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