Weather News

NSW Mid North Coast deluge records 297mm rain at Pacific Palms, but it's not considered an official record

By Kerrin Thomas, Thursday October 29, 2020 - 18:28 EDT
ABC licensed image
Parts of The Lakes Way south of Forster were innundated with water on Monday. - ABC licensed

Almost 300 millimetres of rain fell in one spot on the New South Wales Mid North Coast earlier this week — the most ever recorded at the location.

But it was not being considered an official record — yet.

The Bureau of Meteorology recorded 297 mm at its gauge at Pacific Palms, south of Forster, in the 24 hours to 9am, Tuesday.

But as the gauge has only been there for about four years, Bureau meteorologist Helen Reid said the records were still being developed in the location.

"I would like to think that amount would be an outlier," she said.

"But we do need to wait and have a few years of record developed and then we'll find out in years to come if that actually was close to the top of the table after all.

"Prior to that there was an occasion in February 2018 that had 210mm."

Ms Reid said the next highest amount of rainfall recorded in the time frame was 121 mm near Barrington.

The Bureau said the event is considered 'rare' and the probability of it happening in any given year is 1 in 2,000.

Locals stunned

The rain saw localised flash flooding at a number of locations and a number of roads were temporarily closed including an intersection with the M1.

At nearby Elizabeth Beach, Jenny Power had about a foot of water go through a lower level of her home during the rainfall.

"Luckily, it steps down from the rest of my house," she said.

"It was nearly lapping over the step into the main part of the house but I managed to actually stop it from coming in."

Ms Power spent the days since cleaning up and speaking to her insurance company.

"I only just thought about it this morning and remembered all my kids school photos that are in a filing cabinet in that room," she said.

"It's very emotional … I was sort of the custodian of the family history and it looks like it's probably all just been destroyed."

She said it was a marked change from this time 12 months ago.

"We've gone from droughts and fires last year, to here we are getting flooded out," Ms Power said.

Dave Ellis from nearby Coomba Park was in the Pacific Palms area at the time and said he has never seen anything like it.

"There were waterfalls coming from places I've never seen before, water across roads, we had a number of roads closed due to localised flooding," he said.

MidCoast Council said the rain impacted sewer and stormwater systems, and some areas of road pavement have been extensively damaged but that overall the damage was relatively minor.


© ABC 2020

More breaking news

Sydney Morning Herald
ABC News
News Limited

Display Your Local Weather

Weather News

December rain more likely as MJO looms

17:10 EDT

After an exceptionally dry November for most of Australia, there are signs that wet weather could ramp up as we head into December under the influence of the Madden-Julian Oscillation.

Queensland BOM forecast predicts fast and furious thunderstorms for south-east

13:25 EDT

Homeowners are being warned to brace for another series of destructive storms with damaging winds, heavy rain and hail this afternoon across south-east Queensland.