An aerial picture of Lismore in the May 2009 flood, which was prevented from entering the Lismore CBD by the new flood levee.
An aerial picture of Lismore in the May 2009 flood, which was prevented from entering the Lismore CBD by the new flood levee. DAVID NIELSEN

75% chance of flood

THE Northern Rivers faces a 75% chance of flooding before the end of the week, the Bureau of Meteorology has warned.

Despite withdrawing a severe weather warning yesterday, the Bureau has maintained a flood watch for the Richmond and Wilsons river valleys, as well as the Brunswick, Tweed, and Clarence valleys.

The Richmond/Wilsons, Brunswick, and Tweed valleys all face the risk of moderate to major flooding from tomorrow morning. From tomorrow night the risk moves south to the Clarence Valley before continuing down to the Hunter Valley by Friday night.

Coffs Harbour Bureau spokeswoman Ashleigh Wilson said the rain system could dump between 30mm and 70mm of rain a day in the catchment area until the weekend.

The sodden ground after the recent flood would exacerbate the problem.

"It had been dry and the ground soaked up a lot of water when the last flood came," she said.

Ms Wilson said it was important people kept a look out on the situation in their areas by listening for weather updates.

On the coast the Bureau has forecast dangerous surf conditions for the NSW coastline from Queensland to Coffs Harbour until Thursday.

An easterly/south easterly swell of up to 4.5m is expected.

Conditions will result in an extreme level of risk at coastal beaches, rock shelves, coastal cliffs and bar-crossings.

"We're potentially looking at a reasonable storm event and our patrols and emergency callout teams are all on high alert," Surf Life Saving NSW lifesaving officer, Murray Copas said.

"We'd advise people stay out of the water and away from rock platforms and headlands until these conditions moderate."


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