NSW SES Media Brief - Hunter & Mid-North Coast Severe Weather

23/03/2018 05:43 PM

What is happening:

Heavy rain has persisted in parts of the Mid-North Coast today, with 83mm at Bowraville. Further areas of heavy rain are possible overnight, easing Saturday. 

Major flooding has dropped to Minor at Kindee Bridge on the Hastings, and moderate flooding at Wauchope has dropped to minor.

There is also minor flooding at Thora on the Bellinger River. Minor flooding is possible at Wingham on the Manning Friday evening. Minor flooding is no longer expected on the Macleay, Camden Haven and Nambucca Rivers.

NSW SES volunteers, supported by the Rural Fire Service, Fire and Rescue NSW and other agencies and local councils are continuing to support affected communities. There have been 10 flood rescues.

The Hibbard near Port Macquarie has ceased operations until 8am Saturday (flood conditions permitting).


What we are expecting:

The BoM have advised that rain is expected to persist in parts of the Mid-North Coast with a further 50-100mm of rain overnight before easing Saturday afternoon. There are already low lying bridges and causeways affected and impassable in some rural areas with properties isolated and this expected to continue.

Hastings River

Kindee Bridge area:

Residents down river of Kindee, in Long Flat, Beechwood and Wauchope are asked to closely monitor the situation in relation to further river rises in the upper part of the Hastings Catchment. At this predicted height there is a high probability that flooding will affect low-lying farmland and local roads located next to the Hastings River and its tributaries.

Wauchope area:

Based on the prediction provided by the Bureau of Meteorology it is expected the following areas will be impacted by floodwaters:  Bains Bridge, Cameron Street , King Street , Kings Creek & Wrights Creek , Blackbutt Park , Narrow Gut Road , Freemans Road , Rawdon Island. At the predicted river height approaches to the Rawdon Island Bridge are likely to be inundated, isolating the Rawdon Island community.

Settlement Point and Port Macquarie:

Based on the prediction provided by the Bureau of Meteorology it is expected the following areas may be impacted by floodwaters: Settlement Point, Hibbard, Fernbank Creek, Oaks Crescent and communities on the North Shore of Port Macquarie.

Flood water may start to come across low lying sections of the following roads and enter low lying properties in: Hastings River Drive and Settlement Point Road, North Shore - Shoreline Drive, Wombat Close, Dolphin Court & Marlin Place, Maria River Road, The Aquatic and Marina Caravan Parks.

Bellinger River

Darkwood Road may be closed at Hobarts Bridge, isolating around 500 residents upstream of the bridge in Bellingen. Downstream of Bellingen may begin to be inundated.

Manning River

Flood water may start to impact low lying areas, roads, bridges and causeways in and around the Wingham area including: Bight Bridge (inundated and closed), Racecourse Road, Fotheringham Street, Wingham Peninsula. There are some 150 persons isolated in the Wingham area currently.

Current Warnings:

A Severe Weather Warning http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDN21037.shtml for heavy rainfall is still current for the Mid-North Coast.

A Flood Watch http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/wrap_fwo.pl?IDN36503.html has been issued for the following river systems.

  • Coffs Coast (local flooding)
  • Wallis Lake (local flooding)
  • Myall River (local flooding)
  • Karuah River (local flooding)

There are Flood Warnings current for the following rivers:

  • Paroo (final)
  • Warrego
  • Bellinger and Kalang
  • Hastings
  • Manning

Current Flood Warnings can be viewed in detail here: http://www.bom.gov.au/nsw/warnings/

What the NSW SES is doing:

  • The NSW SES has received over 2,200 calls in the State Operations Centre resulting in 1,062 emergency responses with a substantial number of these around the Maitland, Lake Macquarie and Newcastle areas and the Mid-North Coast. Most calls have been completed.
  • These calls for help are mostly leaking roofs and minor damage, with the worst affected areas around Newcastle, Maitland and the Port Stephens and Lake Macquarie areas. Damage in these areas has now been largely attended to. Some calls for assistance are still coming to the SES from the Mid-North Coast where the Severe Weather Warning is current.
  • Flood rescue technicians have been located at SES Units near known flash flood hotspots. SES volunteers in affected areas are on standby to assist as required.
  • NSW SES has been activated to 10 flood rescues. All persons are safe and well. Two of these rescues were of animals (horses and cows), the others, persons who had driven into floodwater. There were rescues of two persons by helicopter today, with one of a female farmer stranded on a flood island, and the other a 66yo male kayaker who was swept downstream. Both rescues were near Wingham with both persons safe and well.
  • The NSW SES has two helicopters on standby.
  • Three NSW SES assisted in relocating 20 campers from Wingham Brush on Wednesday afternoon.
  • The NSW SES is monitoring isolated rural areas that might require resupply, and stands ready to assist if required.

What you can do:

  • People who live and work in areas affected by the Flood Watch should act now to lift pumps and equipment and relocate livestock and agisted animals to higher ground.
  • If isolation is likely, stock up now on food, fuel medicine and other essential items.
  • Low lying roads and causeways may be affected. Plan your journey and consider alternate routes or arrangements if roads are blocked. Delay non-essential travel in heavy rain.
  • If your property is affected by flash flooding, consider preparing sandbags now. These can be purchased from hardware stores. (There may be SES Units or Councils with collection points – listen to your local radio or check local SES social media).
  • Clean gutters and downpipes, and ensure drains around your property are clear.
  • Check your roof is in good repair.
  • When heavy rain commences, park your car away from areas that might flood, never drive through floodwaters and keep your children indoors away from flooded areas. Playing in floodwater is dangerous as debris, strong currents, stormwater inlets and culverts may not be visible under floodwater.

How to help:

  • You can help your community as a spontaneous volunteer. It’s easy to register on the NSW SES website (Click the volunteer tab in the top right) and if we require your help you will be contacted.
  • You can also help by being prepared and helping friends and neighbours who might need assistance, especially the elderly or those with a disability.

Who to call:

  • If you require emergency help due to flooding call the NSW SES on 132 500.
  • Call 000 if it is a life-threatening emergency.
  • Listen to your local radio station for updates and advice.
  • For road closures go to https://www.livetraffic.com/desktop.html or call 131 701 or check your local Council’s website.

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