Weekend weather on the Mid North Coast | rolling updates

SUNDAY 3.30pm: 

The Hastings River is expected to peak at 4.7 metres at Wauchope Sunday afternoon after a peak of 7.2 metres at Kindee.

North Shore and Rawdon Island residents are being urged to prepare for flooding.

Hibbard ferry is now out of service.

Flood water may start to come across low lying sections of the following roads and enter low lying properties in:

  • Bains Bridge 
  • Cameron Street 
  • King Street 
  • Kings Creek & Wrights Creek 
  • Blackbutt Park 

River levels will remain just below the minor flood level at Settlement Point (1.20m) late Sunday evening.

Settlement Point Road and Hibbard Drive residents may be affected.

North Shore residents are advised by the SES to expect some possible disruptions to ferry services at Settlement Point and Hibbard.

The Oxley Highway is currently cut at Long Flat between Churchills Rd and Henry Street. Motorists are being advised to take the New England or Gwydir Highway.

The Pacific Highway is rain damaged at Coopernook. A 60km zone is in place.

Kids enjoying the wet weather in Port Macquarie. Video: Crys Barnes

SUNDAY 8am: Up to 80 millimetres of rain has been recorded during the past six hours to 4:30am Sunday over the Hastings River valley.

No significant rain is forecast for the remainder of Sunday (March 19).

Moderate flooding is occurring along the Hastings River at Kindee Bridge.

Minor flooding is occurring along the Hastings River at Wauchope.

The Hastings River at Kindee Bridge is expected to peak near 7 metres Sunday morning with moderate flooding.

Bains Bridge, Wauchope. Photo: Josh McMillan.

Bains Bridge, Wauchope. Photo: Josh McMillan.

The Hastings River at Wauchope is likely to reach around 3.50 metres Sunday afternoon with minor flooding.

The current river height at the Kindee gauge is 6.80 metres. 

There is currently water over the road at O’Neills Creek, Long Flat affecting traffic in both directions.

There are also rocks and a fallen tree affecting the westbound lane of the Oxley Highway 70km west of Wauchope.

The Manning River at Wingham is expected to exceed the minor flood level (4.90m) Sunday. The river level is likely to reach around 5.50 metres Sunday afternoon with minor flooding.

The current river height at the Wingham gauge is 3.40 metres.

Minor flooding is predicted along the Gloucester River at Gloucester

The Gloucester River at Gloucester is likely to reach the minor flood level (4.30m) Sunday. A livestock warning has been issued by the SES for low-lying areas.

The Macleay River will exceed the minor flood level of 4.50 metres Sunday afternoon, with the river at Kempsey likely to reach 5.2 metres Sunday evening.

The Bureau have also predicted that the Macleay River at Smithtown is expected to reach the minor flood level of 3.00 metres around midnight Sunday.

The Macleay River at Bellbrook peaked at 5.30 metres around 7am this morning.

Roads affected by flooding:

Water across the road at Bains Bridge, Wauchope. Photo: Mandy Kates

Water across the road at Bains Bridge, Wauchope. Photo: Mandy Kates

  • Bellbrook, Toorooka, Temagog, Turners Flat and Sherwood Bridges are all closed.
  • Dungay Creek causeway is closed.
  • Gladstone Street, West Kempsey railway underpass is closed.
  • Queen Street, South Kempsey was closed overnight – current status unknown

At Bellingen, road and bridge closures include:

  • Bowraville Road closed south of Malibells Country Cottages. No vehicle access to Bowraville.
  • Spicketts Bridge is closed due to flooding.
  • Bridge Street – Lavenders Bridge closed due to flooding.
  • Coramba Road – Wild Cattle Creek bridge closed due to flooding.
  • Darkwood Road – Hobarts and Joyces Bridge.
  • Deer Vale Loop Road closed due to flooding.
  • Shepherds Road closed – due to flooding.
  • Hydes Creek Road – Caution – Half road closed due to tree over road.
  • Gordonville Road closed – water over road.
  • Summervilles Road – Rosewood Bridge closed, water over bridge.
  • Timboon Road closed – water over road at Gleniffer end.
  • Tyringham Road –  Little Murray Bridge is closed due to flooding
  • Valery Road – Browns Bridge closed due to flooding.
  • Valery Road – Raleigh Raceway closed as water over road.4
  • Waterfall Way, Dorrigo Mountain

The highest rainfall readings over the last 12 hours include:

  • 423mm at Dorrigo (Old Coramba Road)
  •  308mm at Bellingen (Crystal Creek)
  •  213mm at Mooral Creek (the Den)
  •  227mm at Yarras (Mount Seaview)
  • 174mm at Woolgoolga

SATURDAY 7pm: Up to 179 millimetres of rain has been recorded during the past 24 hours to 7pm Saturday over the Hastings River valley.

The Bureau of Meteorology has predicted that the Hastings River will rech moderate flood level of 5.5 metres at the Kindee Bridge tonight (Saturday). This may result in flood water inundating low-lying roads, bridges and causeways. It may also cause the inundation of low-lying properties in the area.

The SES at work in Bellingen.

The SES at work in Bellingen.

The Hastings River will then reach the minor flood level of 2.5 metres at Wauchope early Sunday morning. This will cause minor flooding on the Hastings River around Wauchope.

There has been widespread beach erosion along the coast. 

Flood water may start to come across low lying sections of the following roads and enter low lying properties in:

  • Bains Bridge
  • Cameron Street
  • King Street
  • Kings Creek & Wrights Creek
  • Blackbutt Park

Should river heights continue to rise residents need to consider the impact of potential isolation. 

At Bellingen, the river has inundated low-lying properties and cut off several bridges. The area is on moderate flood warning with river levels expected to peak at six metres Sunday morning.

SATURDAY 5pm: Up to 150mm of rain has been recorded during the past 24 hours to 3pm Saturday over the Hastings River valley.

SES incident controller Craig Ronan said further heavy rain is forecast for the next 12 hours which could produce further river level rises.

As a result the Bureau of Meteorology has predicted that the Hastings River will exceed 3 metres at the Kindee gauge. The river level may reach around 5 metres Saturday. March 18. A minor flood warning has been issued.

At this height low-lying farmland and areas downstream may be impacted by rising flood waters.

The current river height at the Kindee gauge is 3.43m. Flood water may start to come across low lying roads, bridges and causeways - it may inundate low lying properties in the area.

Should river heights continue to rise residents need to consider the impact of potential isolation. 

Flood warnings are current for the Orara River, Bellinger River, Hastings River, Wilson River and Coffs Creek.

The Bureau of Meteorology has said conditions will ease significantly over the course of Sunday as the trough weakens.

SATURDAY 11am: Up to 150mm of rain has been recorded during the past 24 hours to 9am Saturday over the Hastings River valley.

Incident controller for the SES Crain Ronan said further heavy rain is forecast for the next 12 hours which could produce further river level rises.

The situation is being closely monitored and revised predictions will be issued if necessary.

As a result the Bureau of Meteorology has predicted that the Hastings River will exceed 3m at the Kindee gauge at midday Saturday. The river level may reach around 5m by Saturday night. This will cause minor flooding in low lying areas in the upper Hastings River.

The current river height at the Kindee gauge is 2.04m. Flood water may start to come across low lying roads, bridges and causeways - it may inundate low lying properties in the area. Should river heights continue to rise residents need to consider the impact of potential isolation. 

Meanwhile, heavy falls further north at Bellingen have inundated low-lying areas with Lavenders Bridge now under water.

SATURDAY 8am: North Shore and Settlement Point residents have been encouraged to prepare their properties for minor flooding. The SES was expecting 100mm of rain overnight on Friday and a minimum of 200mm Saturday. 

Residents were notified by the North Shore Progress Association the area may flood if Mt Seaview copped similar rainfall figures, however at this stage, low tides are in their favour.

“If you are in flood prone areas please start lifting and if you are on higher ground it might be advisable to stock up in case the ferries stop,” a spokesperson for the Progress Association said.

Debris was starting to come down the Hastings River on Friday which may affect ferries. 

The Bureau of Meteorology at 3.10am on Saturday morning cancelled its damaging winds warning for the coast, however its heavy rain and flood warnings remain.

Dangerous conditions are expected to batter the coast Saturday with 4-5m swell predicted along the Mid North Coast. It is expected many beaches will be closed.

Heavy rain which may lead to flash flooding is expected through the Mid North Coast, southern parts of the Northern Rivers and adjacent areas today. 

Rainfall totals in excess of 100mm are expected during Saturday. Localised falls exceeding 200mm during Saturday are also possible. 

A large swell at Coffs Harbour on Friday afternoon. Photo by @jodya_69

A large swell at Coffs Harbour on Friday afternoon. Photo by @jodya_69

Several stations in the Mid North Coast have already recorded rainfall totals in excess of 100mm since 9am Friday.

Rainfall is expected to ease by Sunday morning as the low and associated trough weaken.

Locations which may be affected include Yamba, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Taree, Sawtell and Dorrigo. 

Rainfall totals since from 9am Friday to 6am Saturday include:

  • 179mm at Careys Peak (Barrington Tops) 
  • 142mm at Bellingen (Crystal Creek) 
  • 135mm at Red Hill (Coffs Harbour) 
  • 127mm at Woolgoolga STP 
  • 117mm at Comboyne Public School
  • 93mm at Yamba

Current flood warnings include:

  • Brunswick - minor flooding
  • Wilsons - minor flooding
  • Richmond - minor flooding
  • Clarence - minor flooding
  • Orara - moderate flooding
  • Coffs Coast - minor flooding
  • Bellinger - moderate flooding
  • Nambucca - minor to moderate flooding
  • Macleay - minor to moderate flooding
  • Hastings - moderate flooding
  • Manning - minor to moderate flooding
  • Karuah - minor flooding

FRIDAY 5PM: A dangerous surf warning can be added to the list of weather warnings in place for the Mid North Coast.

The dangerous conditions are forecast for all regions between Newcastle and Tweed Heads for Saturday (March 18) due to a low pressure system off the central NSW coast.

Surf Life Saving NSW Operations Manager Andy Kent has urged the public to take the warnings seriously...more details here.

“With the strong winds and more heavy rain forecast, it might be safer to give the beach a miss this weekend.”

A number of events across the region have been cancelled including the annual Challenge Cup at Nambucca Heads.  The weekend forecast left organisers with little option but to abandon the tournament, which was due to celebrate it’s 39th year.

The Lower Mid North Coast Rugby Union gala day at Old Bar and the opening round of Group Three Rugby League’s pre-season at Kempsey and Wingham were also cancelled due to the wet weather.  Five teams were set to play in the gala on Saturday.

A light hearted warning message from the NSW State Emergency Service.

FRIDAY 1PM: Wet catchments across the Mid North Coast with more rain on the way could spell trouble leading into the weekend.

See how the weather situation played out on Thursday across the Mid North Coast...here.

A number of local river systems are on flood watch. NSW SES Mid North Coast is advising that the Hastings could experience moderate flooding while the Macleay and Manning systems could expect minor to moderate flooding.

Taree has seen some of their heaviest falls so far this year.  

In the Camden Haven storms and tides claimed the foreshore of Lake Cathie reserve.

Predictions for the Hastings River catchment indicate rain may be heavy enough to cause localised flooding in low-lying areas, as well as causing tributary creeks to break their banks.  Town Beach at Port Macquarie has already copped a pounding.

Minor flooding is also potentially on the cards for The Karuah river system.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued this updated warning map on Friday morning.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued this updated warning map on Friday morning.

The conditions are due to a low pressure trough off the central and northern NSW coast, with a small low pressure centre within the trough off the central coast.

Farmers are advised to monitor the weather and be ready to move their livestock, pumps and other equipment away from rising waters.  Oyster lease operators are advised to monitor the river for possible rises and be ready to move equipment.

Strong winds can also be expected along parts of the coast:

The story Waters rise across Mid North Coast | photos, video first appeared on Port Macquarie News.

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