The NSW State Emergency Service have directed those along the Bellinger River at North Bellingen to evacuate immediately. The river was sitting at 8.38 meters at around 2:30pm and roads were expected to start closing once it passes 8.5 meters.
In Lower Macleay, people in low-lying areas must evacuate by 6:00pm as the Macleay River rises at Kempsey. By tomorrow morning it is expected to reach moderate flood level of six meters.
In Lismore flooding could reach 12 metres tonight, to put that in context prior to the worst ever seen flooding a month ago, the record stood at 12.1 metres in 1974. The flood levee is 10.6 metres so 12 metres will breach the levee by almost 1.5 metres. The town is still reeling from the worst flooding in history last month that saw the record flooding of 14.4 metres.
In Lismore there are reports of a woman missing in floodwaters last night. Local police attended a call on Wyrallah Road, Monaltrie, South of Lismore at around 9:50pm on Tuesday night following reports that a woman was trapped in her vehicle by floodwaters.
Police searched for several hours but the woman and vehicle were unable to be found. Police are urging anyone with any information on a 2017 white Holden Captiva station wagon with NSW registration YHS 51F to contact Police immediately.
These add to the large list of evacuation orders in place across the Northern Rivers including:
- Lismore CBD, Lismore Basin, and low-lying areas of East Lismore and Girards Hill
- South Lismore
- North Lismore
- Coraki and New Italy
- Urunga CBD and Bellinger Keys
- Bellinger River Tourist Park
- East Bellingen
- Broadwater, Wardell, Cabbage Tree Island
- Low-lying parts of Kyogle
- Tumbulgum and surrounding areas
- Newry Island and Yellow Rock
All evacuations can be seen on the NSW SES Website
The Bureau of Meteorology reported some major rainfall totals in the Northern Rivers up to 9am today for the previous 24 hours
24hrs rainfall totals to 9am Wednesday:
- Alstonville 431mm
- Tuckmobil 352mm
- Bellingen 335mm
- Tuckurimba 330mm
- Dorrigo (Mountain Top) 320mm
- Byron Bay 282mm
- Ballina Airport 282mm
A severe weather warning remains in place with rain possibly re-intensifying tonight with falls of up to 200mm in a 6-hour period especially if thunderstorms develop.