The east coast of Queensland and New South Wales has been lashed by heavy rain once again, with some areas drenched by as much as 300mm overnight. Residents report that “chaos” broke out overnight after the wild weather was unleashed. a flood that causes flash flooding in already flood-weary communities.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has warned that the worst is not yet over, with more thunder and locally heavy downpours possible today, which could lead to more devastating flooding.
Over 100mm of rain fell overnight in several parts of NSW, while the border town of Numinbah received 291mm of rain.
A campsite in Helensvale began flooding late yesterday, prompting a frantic evacuation. (Today)
Upper Springbrook in the Gold Coast hinterland recorded 309mm and Clagiraba was drenched with 292mm. Of this, 104 mm fell in just one hour.
Heavy rain prompted a desperate midnight evacuation from a campsite near Helensvale.
In the middle of the night, the water started to rise, fast – family vacations are coming.
This morning the place is completely under water.
At the Gold Coast site, muddy brown water swallowed the tents. (Today) One witness who was camping before the school holidays said they were knee deep in water within minutes. (Today)
One witness said there was no warning today.
“We had no idea,” he said.
“I was already awake and my sister was just yelling for me to get up. I got up and thought maybe it’s not that bad and after 20 minutes the water went through our tent.
“We were knee-deep in minutes
“It was chaos…just panic, dozens trying to get out at once.
Similar scenes have played out across NSW overnight, with northern parts of the state receiving more than 200mm in a matter of hours.
Three people have been rescued by a police officer after their car got stuck in floodwaters in NSW’s Hunter region. (NSW Police)
The NSW SES said it had carried out 14 flood rescues in the past 24 hours, up to 6am today.
Nationwide, 193 requests for help were submitted.
Although the rain has subsided today, authorities have warned that the risk of flooding will continue for the next few days.
“The system that brought intense thunderstorms last night is now hanging off the Gold Coast. We could still see a bit more rainfall in the morning,” said the bureau’s senior forecaster Dean Narramore.
“We expect more widespread showers across the NSW coast and south-east Queensland today and again tomorrow before finally clearing on Sunday.”
“Unfortunately, another weather phenomenon will move into eastern Australia in the middle of next week.”
There are currently nearly two dozen flood warnings in place for swollen watersheds across the state.
And the already devastated town of Lismore is on edge after the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) issued a moderate flood warning for the River Tweed.
If the dam breaks, the city would face its third flood this year.
The river level in Tumbulgum may reach a moderate flood level of 1.80m around 10am on Friday.
Just the beginning of the “very long” season
NSW Emergency Services Minister Steph Cooke said yesterday the flooding was the start of a flood season expected to last into the spring and summer.
Rain radar over northern NSW. (Meteorological Bureau)
“We are facing challenges on a number of fronts with prolonged flooding in western and north-western NSW, renewed river rises in the Central West and southern NSW,” he said.
“Communities in the Northern Rivers, Mid-North Coast and North Coast, who have been weary of flooding in recent months, are facing a couple of days of worsening weather conditions.
“We’re at the start of a very long season that we’re looking forward to, this is the third La Nina in a row and as we’ve seen all year our watersheds and landscapes are very saturated.
“It increases the risk of flash floods and very fast water and catching people off guard.”
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