Rain, lots of it, has descended upon parts of New South Wales and Queensland causing flooding and a slew of road closures.
The Bureau of Meteorology, NSW (BoM) issued a severe weather warning on Friday for heavy rain, damaging winds, and possible flash flooding across the Mid North Coast and Metropolitan areas of the state, Illawarra, and parts of the Northern Rivers, Hunter, Central Tablelands, and Northern Tablelands.
A Severe Weather Warning remains current for heavy rain, damaging winds & possible flash flooding for the Mid North Coast, Metropolitan, Illawarra, and parts of the Northern Rivers, Hunter, Central Tablelands and Northern Tablelands. NSW warnings: https://t.co/MaXeDkAQVn pic.twitter.com/a4ZOUaeNrB— Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) February 6, 2020
BoM warned there is “potential for heavy rainfall along parts of the southern coast and adjacent ranges” during the weekend.
“This situation is being monitored closely and any warnings will be updated if heavy rainfall for these areas becomes likely.”
As you can imagine, the flooding has led to a number of road closures across the state. Live Traffic NSW has been reporting on it all morning, which you can follow here.
BoM Queensland issued similar flood warnings for the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast, reporting that 93 millimetres of rain fell in just an hour overnight near the town of Yandina.
⚠️ #QldStorm warning issued for the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast. Particularly heavy rainfall is occurring about the Sunshine Coast hinterland with 93mm in an hour near Yandina, likely causing flash flooding. Stay up to date with warnings: https://t.co/mB2BWDwK2O pic.twitter.com/kJnFpnt83Y— Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland (@BOM_Qld) February 6, 2020
Meanwhile, Byron Bay locals have woken up to absolute scenes this morning, with many taking to Twitter to share images and videos of the flooding. BoM reports 281 millimetres of rain has hit the coastal town as of 8.00am this morning.
Sky News Chief Meteorologist Thomas Saunders says this is Byron Bay’s heaviest rainfall in 46 years.
The street just looks like a river now.
Going to the shop in Byron Bay now requires a wetsuit pic.twitter.com/Aet6MdFFyL— Norma Costello (@normcos) February 6, 2020
The NSW State Emergency Service (SES) said it had received nearly 340 calls from the public across the state since the rain started.
Per the ABC, most calls were about water over roads, roof damage, and fallen trees.
“We’ve got our rescue crews right up and down the coast because we know this event will really go border to border,” SES Assistant Commissioner Paul Bailey told the ABC.
“We put crews in those areas where we traditionally have problems with people driving into flood waters.”
NSW SES Deputy Commissioner Daniel Austin has urged people to please avoid driving into floods.
“Flash flooding is incredibly dangerous,” he said in a statement ahead of the rain. “I’m urging motorists, please stay safe on the roads – pull over if the rain becomes too heavy or if you can no longer see where you are going. Make safe decisions and never enter floodwaters.”