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NSW weather: Warning for mid-north coast, Hunter, northern tablelands

By Dom Vukovic, Friday March 17, 2017 - 20:08 EDT
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More severe weather will hit the state's north after flooding in the Illawarra on Thursday. - ABC licensed

Heavy rain and possible flash flooding are expected to hit the state's Hunter, mid-north coast and northern tablelands over the next 24 hours, with a severe weather warning now in place.

A deepening low pressure trough will bring rainfall in excess of 100 millimetres to areas including Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Taree, Newcastle, Sawtell and Dorrigo.

NSW State Emergency Service (SES) said flash flooding and road closures were expected with people urged to use their common sense when encountering flooded roads.

"That water can be extremely deadly and extremely powerful," said the SES's Todd Burns.

"People just have to be aware of the power of that water. It can lift four wheel drives and wash them [away]."

The severe weather was expected to hit the Hunter first on Friday night, with regions further north to be impacted on Saturday morning, the Bureau of Meteorology said.

An earlier severe wind warning for Sydney was cancelled.

SES volunteers were prepared for an increased number of calls for help from residents impacted by storm damage and people were asked to make sure they had prepared for the deluge.

"The heaviest falls are predicted to take place in the Hunter, mid-north coast and northern regions," Mr Burns said.

"We're asking people to tie things down and make sure they can't be blown away.

"Trampolines can be picked up [by the wind] and cause a lot of damage. We're also asking people to move their cars away from large trees."

Beachgoers urged to avoid dangerous surf

Surf Lifesaving NSW has also warned beachgoers, boat enthusiasts and rock fisherman not to risk their lives in dangerous surf conditions.

"With the strong winds and more heavy rain forecast, it might be safer to give the beach a miss this weekend," spokesman Andy Kent said.

"The best advice we can give people is to be aware of their environment and the changing conditions."

Dangerous surf conditions are forecast from Port Hacking to Seal Rocks from Friday afternoon, then expected to shift to between Newcastle and Tweed Heads on Saturday.

Swells are predicted to peak at about 4-5 metres in some areas, but are forecast to be larger offshore.

It comes after the Illawarra region was hit with severe weather on Thursday night, with SES receiving more than 700 calls for help and 43 flood rescues.

The flooding at Wollongong is believed to have claimed the life of 11-year-old Ryan Teasdale, whose body was found on Friday morning.

He was last seen body boarding in heavy rainfall, and it is believed he was swept down a storm water drain.


© ABC 2017

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