Millions face an anxious 48 hours as they brace for more ‘very dangerous’ wild weather plaguing Australia’s east coast.
Four states are monitoring the flooding and some regions are expected to receive up to 200mm of rain before conditions ease by mid-week.
The Bureau of Meteorology warned that widespread rain and thunderstorms along the coast over the next two days would lead to more river rises and flooding.
Severe thunderstorms over much of NSW, southern Queensland and northern Victoria will bring heavy rainfall through Tuesday, resulting in flooding, damaging winds and potentially large hail.
One storm is entering NSW from South Australia bringing fresh rain, while another is hanging off the coast of Queensland, which has the potential to dump up to 200mm on the already saturated Northern Rivers region.
Every corner of NSW is covered in rain with nearly 140 flood warnings, including 20 evacuation orders.
They include the Northern Rivers, where the residents of Lismore spent Sunday sandbags ahead of their third major flood this year.
Closer to the coast, the popular tourist mecca of Byron Bay has already been hit by flash flooding, with the main street inundated with ankle-deep water.
Byron Bay (pictured) was ravaged by wild weather on Sunday, resulting in flash flooding
The residents of Lismore brace themselves for their third major flood in months. Pictured is a woman braving the wet weather in Lismore on Sunday
Further inland, the Mehi River at Moree threatens to exceed the record 10.87 meters set 67 years ago.
Hundreds of Dubbo residents and vacationers staying at the Western Plains Tourist Park were also ordered to evacuate Sunday night.
“If you stay in the area, you could be stranded without power, water and other essential amenities. It could be too dangerous for NSW SES to save you, and buildings may not withstand the impact of high water,” the SES warned.
Also very alert are the Mid North Coast, the Hunter and Sydney watersheds, Gunnedah on the Northern Namoi River, the Riverina town of Narrandera on the Murrumbidgee and Moama on the Murray River.
Emergency Services Minister Stephanie Cook said there was a flood risk in ‘every corner’ of NSW.
“We are facing a very dangerous 48 hours across NSW,” she said.
“What we are currently experiencing is more flooding threats in more communities and locations than at any other time this year.”
Thousands of Lismore residents were warned they may have to evacuate Monday before the Wilson River peaks that night.
Lismore Council has warned that the nearby town of Nimbin is expected to be cut for up to three days from Monday.
Residents are being urged to follow evacuation orders and reminded not to drive through floodwaters after the SES rescued 31 people over the weekend.
The SES received nearly 400 requests for assistance.
“It’s better to be bothered for 48 hours and go back when we say it’s safe,” said SES Commissioner Carlene York.
Parts of southeastern Qld and northern NSW (in purple) will tolerate up to 200mm of rain Monday
SES volunteers prepare for potential flooding in Lismore, where the Wilson River is expected to peak Monday evening
Echuca residents remain wary and the Murray River is not expected to peak until Tuesday
A strong wind warning will remain on Monday across the NSW coast from Byron in the north to Eden in the south.
Monday there is a severe thunderstorm warning in south east and central Queensland with damaging wind gusts, heavy rain of up to 200mm and large hail forecast.
A dangerous surf warning will be issued on Gold Coast beaches on Monday, urging people to stay out of the water.
Victoria is still cleaning up from a recent statewide flood, but more heavy rain is on the way for Victoria with falls between 50mm and 150mm later in the week as flooding continues.
Flood dikes are put to the test as swollen rivers near their peak in the northern Victorian towns of Echuca and Kerang.
The Murray River surpassed the 1993 flood level of 94.77 meters above sea level in Echuca on Saturday and is expected to peak about 95 meters by Monday.
Dozens of houses in and around Echuca Village were knocked on their doors Saturday night after water seeped through a levee.
“Those levees, while they are currently in place, remain a vulnerability for that particular community,” Tim Wiebusch of the Victoria State Emergency Service told reporters on Sunday.
Much of Echuca remains closed due to flooding with more rain on the rain. Pictured is a flooded caravan park on Sunday
Severe thunderstorms over much of NSW and southern Queensland bring heavy rainfall through Tuesday. It didn’t stop surfers from braving the wild conditions in Byron Bay on Sunday
More heavy rain is expected for southeastern Queensland and northern NSW on Tuesday before conditions ease. The wettest areas are purple
The eastern parts of South Australia will also be hit by heavy rain and thunderstorms that will move towards western Victoria and NSW.
“Rain and thunderstorms with heavy falls will spread across Victoria and NSW on Monday, which could lead to renewed river level rises in Victoria,” the BoM said on Sunday.
“A low-pressure system over South Australia and near the NSW-Queensland border is combined with a high-pressure system off New Zealand to divert moist tropical air over eastern Australia.”
The weather is likely to calm down by mid-week, although showers continue in Victoria and Tasmania later in the week.
Far North Queensland and the Northern Territory’s Top End are likely to experience heat wave conditions through mid-week with a forecast of unusually high temperatures and high humidity.
WeatherZone warned that the worst of the wild weather was far from over.
A high pressure area is expected to build over NSW by late Friday and early Saturday, which will bring some calm before another low pressure system moves through southeastern Australia early next week,” it said.
Business owner Barb Loader has her business in High St, Echuca. sandblasted
Four states remain on top of flooding and some regions will see up to 200mm of rain in the coming days. They include Byron Bay (pictured on Sunday)
Monday Shower or two. Min 13 Max 23
Tuesday Possible shower. Min 11 Max 22
Wednesday Partly cloudy. Min 10 Max 23
Thursday Partly cloudy. Min 10 Max 24
Monday Possible shower. Min 11 Max 18
Tuesday Possible shower. Min 12 Max 18
Wednesday Partly cloudy. Min 12 Max 19
Thursday Possible shower. Min 11 Max 19
Monday Showers. Min 14 Max 19
Tuesday Shower or two. Min 13 Max 20
Wednesday Shower or two. Min 13 Max 19
Thursday Shower or two. Min 11 Max 17
Monday Showers. Min 9 Max 15
Tuesday showers. Min 11 Max 19
Wednesday Shower or two. Min 12 Max 18
Thursday Shower or two. Min 12 Max 16
Monday Showers. Min 13 Max 20
Tuesday showers. Min 13 Max 21
Wednesday showers. Min 13 Max 21
Thursday Mostly sunny. Min 9 Max 20
Monday Showers. Min 18 Max 23
Tuesday Shower or two. Min 17 Max 27
Wednesday Partly cloudy. Min 16 Max 26
Thursday Possible shower. Min 16 Max 25
Monday Showers. Min 18 Max 29
Tuesday Shower or two. Min 19 Max 28
Wednesday Mostly sunny. Min 18 Max 30
Thursday Sunny. Min 19 Max 32
Monday Partly cloudy. Min 28 Max 35
Tuesday Partly cloudy. Min 28 Max 35
Wednesday Possible thunderstorm. Min 27 Max 34
Thursday Mostly sunny. Min 27 Max 35
Source: Bureau of Meteorology
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