Heavy rains to prolong flooding around NSW

Date: 2021-11-29 16:51:41

After weeks of heavy rain around the state, NSW is facing further severe weather which could prolong ongoing flooding.

A severe thunderstorm warning issued on Monday night predicted heavy rainfall and flash flooding for parts of northern NSW and further heavy rainfall has been predicted on Tuesday for an area north of Inverell up to the Queensland border.

“A tropical airmass with abundant moisture” will continue to deliver heavy rain on Tuesday, the Bureau of Meteorology says.

Six-hourly rainfall totals between 50 to 70mm are possible with areas including Tenterfield, Liston, Drake, Emmaville, Boggabilla and Ashford in the path.

NSW State Emergency Service northern zone Superintendent Mark Elm says the possibility of torrential rain means people should prepare their homes by securing outdoor items, trimming trees and clearing their gutters so the rain can drain away.

After the SES conducted more than 30 flood rescues in a 24-hour period from Sunday to Monday, Supt Elm urged people to avoid floodwaters and drive to the conditions.

“The next few days are going to be dangerous conditions … if you come across a flooded road please make the safe decision,” he said.

The BOM says heavy rain forecast for northern NSW on Tuesday and Wednesday could deliver minor flooding along the Wilsons River and Richmond River, and cause renewed river rises and flooding on the Upper Macintyre, Gwydir and Namoi Rivers, which have already been subject to flood warnings.

In addition to those rivers, there are also flood warnings current in catchments including the Hunter, Severn, Lower Macintyre, Castlereagh, Macquarie, Bogan, Lachlan, Murrumbidgee, Mirrool Creek, Murray, Warrego, Paroo and Barwon Rivers.

People around NSW that have been affected by recent flooding can access disaster support payments, but NSW Farmers Association president James Jackson says there also needs to be money for local councils to fix road damage, including on unsealed roads where “the damage can be even worse”.

“Rather than wait for the damage bill to start coming in, we need to get ahead of it and start planning these repairs urgently,” Mr Jackson said.

Bitumen being washed away and leaving behind deep potholes poses “a big problem for farmers trying to get their harvest to market, but it’s fundamentally a safety issue for regional communities”.

He said there was added urgency as farmers trying to salvage crops needed to get heavy equipment to their properties.

Meanwhile, comparison website Finder has warned people to check their insurance policies after a nationwide survey found only 41 per cent of people who have home and contents insurance are covered for floods, and more than a quarter of them don’t actually know what their policy includes.

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