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HomeFlood Warning for Lismore, Parts of Mullumbimby Under Evacuation Orders

Flood Warning for Lismore, Parts of Mullumbimby Under Evacuation Orders

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As Lismore faces another major flood event and evacuation orders being issued across Northern Rivers, the threat of heavy rainfall continues for the already flood affected area.

Low-lying areas of Mullumbimby have been issued evacuation orders with residents being told to evacuate by 7am Tuesday morning. After a difficult night, the nearby town of Billindudgel were also asked to evacuate by 5am, with NSW SES also directing residents of Tumbulgum to leave.

Six-hour totals up to 300mm of rainfall have been forecast to drop later today (Tuesday). The Bureau has warned Northern Rivers, parts of Northern Tablelands, and the Mid North Coast.
“Locally intense rainfall leading to dangerous and life-threatening flash flooding is possible. Locations which may be affected include Lismore, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Tenterfield and Dorrigo.”

According to the state minister for emergency services, Steph Cooke, 14,455 residents have been affected by the current evacuation orders. Cooke, took to Facebook where she wrote “It’s devastating that this community is being hit by wild weather for a second time this month.”

462 requests for assistance and 14 flood rescues have occurred across the state in the last 24hrs. Kiri Dicker, Ballina Shire Councillor, also took to social media urging residents in flood affected zones to “stay safe and trust your intuition.” She said, “we’re all emotionally and physically tired, especially those directly affected by the last flood, but we can get through this together as a community.”

This is the second major flood event to threaten the area in the last month, which took 22 lives. Although locals have suggested the death toll is much higher. Lismore was one of the hardest hit areas after the Wilson River broke unprecedented heights of nearly 15 meters.

It has been forecast that Wilson River will exceed major flood levels of 9.7m by 2pm, peaking at 10.6 meters, the Lismore levee height, by the afternoon with further rises unable to be ruled out.

The cause of this rainfall is a low pressure system drifting today towards Sydney with 44mm predicted and severe heavy rainfall possible for the evening, which could result in flash flooding. Public transport is also being affected in the city and there is a minor to moderate flood warning with both north shore and western line train lines experiencing delays due to flood waters over the tracks. Sydney metro is also experiencing delays and there is a minor to moderate flood warning currently in place in parts of Hawkesbury – Nepean.

Beaches face pollution and people are being urged to steer clear, with “likely” risk of bacterial contamination due to storm water runoff. So far, beaches north of Newport and the beaches around Cronulla are in the clear, but Manly, Bondi and Maroubra are unlikely safe to swim in. Beaches on the central coast, Terrigal, Umina and Pearl Beach have been flagged with a red alert. Swimmers should avoid beaches in Bulli, Bellambi and Corrimal.

In a statement made on the state government’s water quality app Beachwatch, it said, “Swimming at Sydney’s oceans beaches should be avoided for up to one day after heavy rainfall or for as long as storm water is present.” 

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