East Bank Road under water on Monday.
East Bank Road under water on Monday.

Rain to ease but be prepared as winds whip up

Tuesday afternoon update:

Rain will ease moving into Wednesday but damaging winds - averaging 60 to 70 km/h with gusts of 90 km/h - could wreak havoc with the saturated ground.

Trees may fall in moderate winds because the ground is wet and there is an increased risk of landslips/

High tides may cause sea water flooding of low lying areas.

There is a moderate to major flood warning for the Clarence River at Grafton, with further rises expected and major flooding possible from overnight Tuesday into Wednesday.

The Orara River is experiencing minor to major flooding.

Coutts Crossing is currently steady at 11.6 metres, with moderate flooding. Renewed rises to the major level (12.0 metres) are possible on Tuesday evening.

There is a minor flood warning current for the Bellinger and Nambucca Rivers.

Cow rescue from kayak: A brave attempt to rescue a cow from a kayak on the NSW Mid North Coast
Cow rescue from kayak: A brave attempt to rescue a cow from a kayak on the NSW Mid North Coast

On Monday afternoon:

In addition to existing flood warnings across the region, a deepening low pressure trough over western NSW has the potential to cause minor to major flooding across the region.

On Monday afternoon authorities are warning of a 75 per cent chance of minor to moderate flooding in the Clarence and localised flooding in Coffs Harbour.

Several roads in the Orara Valley west of Coffs Harbour are under water.

For all road closures across Coffs Harbour go to Council’s disaster dashboard.

Towns to the south like Taree, Port Macquarie and Kempsey have been hit hard in recent days with some dramatic flood rescues caught on camera.

In the Bellingen area the situation is unfolding with some dire predictions for a region already hit hard with floods closing roads and causing major landslides.

Moderate flooding is occurring along the Bellinger River at Thora and minor flooding is occurring at Bellingen.

Brave attempts to rescue cows using kayaks as flood waters rise across the Mid North Coast.
Brave attempts to rescue cows using kayaks as flood waters rise across the Mid North Coast.

Further rainfall is forecast for the next 48 hours, which could cause further rises.

The Bellinger River at Thora is likely to remain around the moderate flood level (4.30m) on Monday afternoon but further rises are possible.

The Bellinger River at Bellingen may reach around 5.00 metres Monday evening with minor flooding with further rises possible.

Based on the prediction provided by the Bureau of Meteorology it is expected the following areas will be impacted by dangerous floodwaters:

In the Thora/Darkwood area:-

- Darkwood Road is closed at Hobarts Bridge, isolating residents upstream of the bridge

- Joyces Bridge is closed

- Leans Bridge is closed

In Bellingen:-

- Farmland downstream of Bellingen may begin to be inundated

- Lavenders Bridge between Bellingen and North Bellingen is closed

What you need to do:

People in areas likely to be impacted by flooding in East Bellingen should relocate immediately to family or friends outside the impact area.

People in the Bellinger River Tourist Park area should relocate immediately to family or friends outside the impact area.

Tara Lynch captured a young boy doing the last wheelie over Lavenders Bridge in Bellingen before it was inundated by floodwaters on Friday March 19. It was cleared that evening but has been closed once again on Monday, March 22.
Tara Lynch captured a young boy doing the last wheelie over Lavenders Bridge in Bellingen before it was inundated by floodwaters on Friday March 19. It was cleared that evening but has been closed once again on Monday, March 22.

People in areas likely to be impacted by flooding in North Bellingen should prepare for possible evacuation.

It is likely that evacuation routes from Darkwood will be impacted and impassable once the river exceeds 3.0 meters at the Thora gauge.

It is likely that evacuation routes from Bellingen, towards the coast, will be impacted and impassable once the river exceeds 6.0 meters at the Bellingen Bridge gauge.

A landslip has forced the closure of Waterfall Way between Summervilles Road and Horseshoe Road, Thora. A Bellingen Shire Council vehicle was struck by the landslip but no one was injured.
A landslip has forced the closure of Waterfall Way between Summervilles Road and Horseshoe Road, Thora. A Bellingen Shire Council vehicle was struck by the landslip but no one was injured.

It is likely that all roads in and around Bellingen will be impassable once the river exceeds 7.5 meters at Bellingen Town (Bridge) gauge isolating Bellingen.

Residents of low lying areas near the river should keep an active watch on the flood waters.

Originally published as Rain to ease but be prepared as winds whip up