Lismore LGA

Is there a flood risk?


Lismore is one of the most flood prone urban centres in Australia and due to its location, has a long history of damaging floods.

The catchment above Lismore is a very complex one and flooding is influenced by catchment conditions, distribution (where rain falls) and intensity of rainfall.  There are several major creeks that feed into Wilsons River and Leycester Creek which join at Lismore. Major flooding can result from water rises in either the Wilsons River or Leycester Creek and consequently can be described as a Wilsons or a Leycester Creek flood. Significant flooding also occurs when both are flooding at once. Historically, most floods occur when Leycester Creek is the more dominant stream. 

Knowing the flood potential of where you live, work and visit in the Lismore LGA is important to keeping yourself, your family and others safe during floods.

See below to find out more about floods in your area, and steps you can take before, during and after flooding. 

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Lismore CBD and The Basin

Are you at risk from floods?


Yes you are!

Lismore is one of the most flood prone urban centres in Australia. Since 1850 there have been 150 flood events, ranging from low level nuisance rises to high level, very disruptive and destructive events. Of these events there have been 33 major, 51 moderate and 56 minor floods. The 2017 flood peaked at 11.59m and is believed to be the 6th highest in Lismore.

A levee was built in 2005 to protect the CBD in a 1:10 event and it has protected the town many times since. However in 2017, floodwater reached 11.59m and overtopped the levee wall for the first time since the levee was built. Businesses were inundated with floodwater.

The Lismore CBD has the added risk of being affected by flash flooding in the CBD Basin. Very heavy rain can cause flash flooding in the CBD Basin without riverine flooding occurring.

It is important that people who may be affected by flooding be “weather aware” and “flood aware”. It is essential that residents and businesses have an emergency plan that is designed to allow stock and belongings to be raised or relocated and to evacuate in time if required. Remaining in your home/business when it is flood affected can be dangerous. Your property may be flooded, you could become isolated (surrounded by floodwater), access to other areas might be cut and you could lose your power, water supply and other low-lying infrastructure such as sewerage. The NSW SES can assist with development of a Business Emergency Plan.

What happens in Lismore CBD Riverine Flooding?


To understand what happens in a Lismore CBD flood, it is important that all residents and businesses know:

  1. The name of their local flood gauge
  2. Where to find the current river levels on the Bureau of Meteorology website
  3. What consequences occur at different flood heights and what actions to take

Lismore has 2 flood gauges. The Wilsons River Rowing Club Gauge is the guide for riverine flood levels that impact Lismore CBD. The Dawson Street Flood Gauge is the guide for flash flooding in the Lismore CBD.

Please click on the Lismore CBD FloodSafe Guide for more local information.

What happens in Lismore Basin Flooding?


Lismore CBD and the surrounding areas are subject to riverine flooding when the Lismore CBD levee overtops. However heavy rain can cause moderate flooding before the levee overtops impacting roads houses and businesses. Some locals refer to this area as the Basin.

The Dawson Street Gauge provides the best information regarding water levels for businesses and residents before the CBD levee overtops. 

Localised Basin flooding also occurs when the levee is overtopped. In the 2017 floods, the Basin was flooded as far up as the Lismore Square. The photo below shows flooding during the 2017 floods in the Basin area. 

To understand what happens in a Lismore CBD flood, it is important that all residents and businesses know:

  1. The name of their local flood gauge
  2. Where to find the current river levels on the Bureau of Meteorology website
  3. What consequences occur at different flood heights and what actions to take

Please click on the Lismore CBD FloodSafe Guide for more local information.

Lismore North

Are you at risk from floods?


Yes you are!

North Lismore is the first sector to flood (from 4.3m on Rowing Club Gauge). This is a low lying area and is not protected by any levee.

Both North and South Lismore may be affected by Flood Slope.

Flood slope means that water levels upstream from the Rowing Club Gauge will be higher than the Rowing Club Gauge measurement. Residents and property owners in locations upstream from the Rowing Club Gauge must allow for higher than expected levels.

Many anecdotal conversations post 2017 floods showed that people in North and South Lismore did not allow for the flood slope when preparing their homes for flooding and didn’t raise their household items high enough. 

As each flood is different, and every flood slope will be different.

What happens in North Lismore floods?


To understand what happens in a North Lismore flood, it is important that all residents and businesses know:

  1. The name of their local flood gauge
  2. Where to find the current river levels on the Bureau of Meteorology website
  3. What consequences occur at different flood heights and what actions to take

 The Wilsons River Rowing Club Gauge is the guide for riverine flood levels that impact North Lismore. 

Important Note: Flood Slope

Flood slope means that water levels upstream from the Rowing Club Gauge will be higher than the Rowing Club Gauge measurement.

Residents and property owners in locations upstream from the Rowing Club Gauge must allow for higher than expected levels.

Please click on the North Lismore FloodSafe Guide for more local information.

Lismore South

Are you at risk from floods?


Yes you are!

Levees have been built in South Lismore and protect the area from moderate floods. However, if major flooding occurs, this levee may also be overtopped with substantial flooding.

Both South and North Lismore may be affected by Flood Slope

Flood slope means that water levels upstream from the Rowing Club Gauge will be higher than the Rowing Club Gauge measurement. Residents and property owners in locations upstream from the Rowing Club Gauge must allow for higher than expected levels.

Many anecdotal conversations post 2017 floods showed that people in North and South Lismore did not allow for the flood slope when preparing their homes for flooding and didn’t raise their household items high enough. 

As each flood is different, and every flood slope will be different.

What happens in South Lismore Floods?


To understand what happens in a South Lismore flood, it is important that all residents and businesses know:

  1. The name of their local flood gauge
  2. Where to find the current river levels on the Bureau of Meteorology website
  3. What consequences occur at different flood heights and what actions to take

The Wilsons River Rowing Club Gauge is the guide for riverine flood levels that impact South Lismore. 

Important Note: Flood Slope

Flood slope means that water levels upstream from the Rowing Club Gauge will be higher than the Rowing Club Gauge measurement.

Residents and property owners in locations upstream from the Rowing Club Gauge must allow for higher than expected levels.

Please click on the South Lismore FloodSafe Guide for more local information.

Lismore Rural Areas (Coming soon)

Lismore Last Roads Out

What roads to take when you need to evacuate


CBD
North – Keen Street then Leycester or High Street
East – Conway Street then Wyrallah Road

South Lismore
Casino Street – Ballina Street Bridge then Ballina Street and Wyrallah Road

North Lismore
Bridge Street or CBD then north through Keen Street and Leycester Streets. Residents furthermost away from the river may have access to Dunoon Road through the showground

Information above credited to Lismore Council, learn more: Lismore Council

Evacuation roads

Evacuation Information


When an Evacuation Warning is issued 

When an Evacuation Warning is issued, you prepare to evacuate. Staying inside a house, even one which you think is high enough, may be very dangerous. If you are warned to evacuate it is always safest to move to a location away from the flood affected area before floodwater arrives. 

  • Locate important papers, valuables and mementos. Put them in your Emergency Kit. 
  • Keep listening to your local radio station for information, updates and advice. 
  • Follow instructions given to you by Emergency Services. 

Download the Evacuation Warning Fact sheet(1.9 MB) 

 

When an Evacuation Order is issued 

When an Evacuation Order is issued and you leave your house: 

  • Turn off the electricity and gas at the mains before you leave and turn off and secure any gas bottles. 
  • Take your pets with you. 
  • Never enter or travel through floodwater. 
  • Keep listening to your local radio station for information, updates and advice. 
  • Follow your Home or Business FloodSafe Plan. 
  • Follow all instructions given to you by Emergency Services. 
  • Stay with family or friends, if possible. 
  • Evacuation Centres may be set up if an Evacuation Order is issued.  
  • Choose the safest route to travel where roads along the route are open. 
  • Roads may become congested or close, ensure you leave enough time to travel safely. 

For information on roads, contact your local council for local road closures and Live Traffic NSW for major road closures. 

Download the Evacuation Order factsheet

Make a plan for your animals today


Emergencies can occur suddenly and planning for your pets and animals keeps everyone safe.

Learn more about planning for animals in emergencies here

Learn more about the dangers of flood, storm and tsunami:

Flood Storm Tsunami

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