On Monday morning there were more than 140 current flood warnings across NSW with almost every corner of the state at risk.
Lismore residents in the state’s northern rivers region were told to prepare to evacuate on Sunday night amid the prospect of a third major flood there this year.
The Bureau of Meteorology said moderate flooding was likely along the Wilsons River at Lismore from late Monday morning, with major flooding possible from Monday night.
The bureau was predicting heavy rainfall with possible flash flooding over parts of the northern rivers through the morning, with six-hourly rainfall totals between 60 to 100mm possible and conditions expected to ease later in the morning.
The State Emergency Services northern zone commander, Andrew Cribb, said some low-lying parts of south Lismore were already underwater, although the flooding was unlikely to be as severe as the inundation that hit the area earlier this year.
“There are still some concerns … we are still predicting up to moderate flooding,” he told Nine’s Today program on Monday.
Moderate rain was expected along the coast and ranges further south into the state’s mid-north coast, however heavy rainfall was no longer expected in the area.
Other towns at risk of flooding included Hay, Wentworth, Ballina, Yamba and Maclean.
Meanwhile, a second system was travelling across the border from South Australia, bringing more rain to already saturated parts of the state.
Authorities are pleading with people not to drive through flood waters, with a frustrated premier Dominic Perrottet saying they are tying up resources and risking lives.
NSW’s SES had performed 34 rescues in 24 hours as of Sunday afternoon, on top of hundreds of calls for help.
The SES reported a person was missing in flood water in Gulgong, north of Mudgee. Three people managed to escape the vehicle and make their way to safety when it was inundated at Cooyal Creek on Sunday night.
Police said a 45-year-old male driver and two male passengers – aged 43 and 26 – survived but a third passenger, a woman in her 20s, was missing after also getting free from the vehicle. A search for the missing woman was set to resume on Monday morning.
The NSW emergency services minister, Steph Cooke, said every corner of the state had a flood warning. The areas of most concern were in the state’s north, with waters rising in places including Moree and Gunnedah.
The Mehi River at Moree peaked at 10.5 metres on Sunday and was expected to remain above the major flood level (8.8m) into Tuesday.바카라사이트
The mayor, Mark Johnson, said there was a sense of relief on Sunday night when the river started to recede but also “a sense of apprehension about the clean-up”.
“The damage is horrific and extensive,” he told ABC TV on Monday. “I went for a fly on Saturday and even the crops that weren’t flooded, were laying on the ground from excessive rainfall.”
Evacuation orders were in place for Moree, Terry Hie Hie, Gunnedah and Carroll in the state’s north, the Riverina town of Narrandera, and Mudgee in the central west.
Residents were also ordered to higher ground at Cummeragunja, Mathoura East, Murray Valley and Moama on the Murray River, where flood water is expected to peak on Monday.
Two hundred Australian defence force personnel have been deployed across the state with more than a dozen helicopters helping with rescue and relief efforts, including three defence choppers.
Natural disaster declarations have been made in more than 40 local government areas, opening councils, residents and businesses for financial aid.
Over the border in Victoria, the BoM warned on Monday that severe storms could hit towns in the state’s north, including Echuca and Shepparton, producing heavy rainfall that might cause renewed flooding.
Severe weather warnings were also in place for the Mallee and Wimmera districts down to the Grampians, with the bureau predicting up to 100mm of rain could fall within 24 hours in some areas.
“Some areas are already saturated or currently flooding due to recent rainfall which may lead to further flooding in those areas,” it warned.
The weather system was expected to dump heavy rain in the state’s north and west during the day before easing from the west during Monday.
The warnings follow several flood peaks being reached across the state over the weekend as Echuca residents were forced to evacuate from rising rivers.
The Murray River surpassed the 1993 flood level of 94.77 metres above sea level at Echuca on Saturday and was forecast to peak around 95m on Sunday evening into Monday. Engineers checked the Victorian-NSW border town’s 3km temporary dirt levee and it remained structurally sound.
Further north-west, the Loddon River at Kerang peaked below the 78m forecast at 77.97m but the threat was yet to pass.
Flood waters had only slightly receded and weren’t expected to noticeably drop for five to seven days, keeping the community isolated.
A levee in the south-west corner of the town was breached, sending water into an industrial area, caravan parks and about 20 homes.
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