AUSTRALIANS are bracing for a “border-to-border” weekend downpour as severe flood warnings have been issued in New South Wales.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) issued a severe weather warning for heavy rain and powerful winds from Goulburn to the Queensland border today. BOM duty forecaster Jane Golding said there was this weather system could turn into an east coast low over the next two days. This would be extremely dangerous.
She said: “Bridges have been washed away … there are some really awful events that have happened from east coast lows.”
This has come after widespread flash flooding occurred in coastal areas this week. Byron Bay recorded 280mm of rain and Coffs Harbour was asked with 250mm overnight.
Several roads in Sydney have been closed due to flooding.
There were also delays on the city’s public transport network
NSW Emergency Services Minister David Elliott warned people to be careful.
He said: ”You would not walk into a bushfire so why would you drive through a flood.
“In previous seasons we have seen unnecessary risks taken by SES volunteers to recover … those who have not heeded that particular warning.”
The State Emergency Service (SES) added there are more volunteers out in northern NSW.
However, Sydney and the South Coast are expected to be hit with most of the downpours this weekend.
Mr Elliott also said many beaches will be closed this weekend.
Over in Byron Bay, real estate agent Jeremy Bennett said his shop was flooded.
He told ABC Australia: ”Most of the CBD is pretty low lying … the water can’t drain anywhere and the drains are blocked.
“My office looked like an island.”
And preparations have been made in Newcastle ahead of the adverse weather this weekend.
This comes amid fears of large easterly swells and a two-metre high tide on Sunday.
The City of Newcastle has positioned 45 tonnes of sand in sandbags to protect Stockton Beach.
The wet weather may be welcomed by some in New South Wales, however.
This area of Australia was devastated by some of its worst wildfires in history at the start of the year.
More than 20 people were killed, along with half a billion animals.
The NSW Rural Fire Service said 1,200 firefighters are still working to extinguish 42 fires, with 17 of those still uncontained.