Tuesday, May 17, 2022

‘life-threatening flash flooding’ expected, parts of Lismore ordered to evacuate

Multiple evacuation orders have been issued and emergency responders are once again grappling with flood rescues as heavy rain lashes disaster-hit parts of Australia’s east coast.
Two evacuation orders have been issued for low-lying parts of Mullumbimby and Billinudgel on the New South Wales north coast this morning — they’re two of five Evacuation Orders currently issued by the NSW State Emergency Services (NSW SES).
Weatherzone meteorologist Ben Domensino told Today rainfall will intensify over NSW today and persist into tomorrow morning after heavy rain lashed south east Queensland overnight.
Mr Domensino said the heavy falls are being driven by a low pressure system, which is pushing back onto the coast.
“For the Mid North Coast of NSW the worst weather is yet to come,” he said.
“Over the next 24 to 36 hours we could see six hourly rainfall rates of 100 to 200 mm but possibly reaching 300 mm with thunderstorms.
The rain will go “straight into” saturated river catchments, increasing the risk of flash flooding, Mr Domensino added.
“If you haven’t seen the heavy rain yet it doesn’t mean it won’t happen,” he said.
“It’s very important to stay up to date with the latest warnings today.”
In the face of more floods uncertainty, Lismore Mayor Steve Krieg said the town is “shattered” and dealing with “flood fatigue.”
Residents of low-lying parts of Lismore faced a case of deja vu about 7.30pm yesterday when they were given just hours to evacuate their homes.
It comes a month to the day after the town was hit with catastrophic flooding.
“It just really drains you emotionally and mentally,” Mr Krieg said.
“We’re very much in the hands of the gods at the moment.
“If the expected rainfall comes in today our river could rise quite dramatically this afternoon.
“If the rain stays out towards the coast we may dodge a bullet and our river might only get to that moderate level.”

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