VIDEO: Floodwaters rise under 200mm falls in just 12-hours

8pm: A car has been swamped by flood waters in Coffs Harbour as torrential rain falls across the North Coast. 

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe weather warning for heavy rainfall across the region, in what is the third day of wild weather across New South Wales. 

The car, pictured on Hogbin Drive, was one of several caught in widespread flash flooding, with the NSW State Emergency Service rescuing four people trapped in vehicles.

The SES received about requests for help, including almost 60 around Coffs Harbour.

In Sawtell, 205 millimetres of rain had fallen in the 10 hours to 3pm.

By comparison, the bureau's official Coffs Harbour gauge at the airport had collected 123.8mm through until 7.30pm. 


The official Bureau of Meteorology rainfall chart for Coffs Harbour shows massive falls between 9am and 7pm.
The official Bureau of Meteorology rainfall chart for Coffs Harbour shows massive falls between 9am and 7pm.


4.45pm: An initial minor flood warning for the Orara River has been issued by the Bureau of Meteorology.

The warning said the river at Glenreagh Bridge is likely to reach the minor flood level of four metres early on Thursday morning.

3.30pm: The latest Bureau of Meteorology weather observations at Coffs Harbour Airport shows the extent of the rainfall in the local area.

The 3.30pm reading shows Coffs Harbour has cracked the ton with 102.2mm of rain recorded since 9am this morning.

Add this to the 52.2mm of rain that was measured between 10pm last night and 9am this morning and there's been an incredible 154.4mm of rain falling at the weather station in a space of only 15 and a half hours.

A second minor flood warning for the Coffs Creek was issued by the BoM at 3.28pm. The warning said the Coffs Creek is likely to remain around the minor flood level (three metres) Wednesday evening.

Further heavy rain is forecast for the next 48 hours.

A strong wind warning for the Coffs Coast on Thursday has also been issued.

3pm: ALMOST all parts of the Coffs Coast have seen falls of close to 100mm since 9am. 

Sawtell and Boambee have recorded the heaviest falls throughout the day. 

The radar continues to show a deep trough situated over the North Coast. 

Steady rain is likely to eventuate throughout the evening and again tomorrow with heavier falls forecast for Friday. 

Where the rainfall has been recorded since 9am Wednesday on the Coffs Coast.
Where the rainfall has been recorded since 9am Wednesday on the Coffs Coast.

2.30pm: JUST IN

SES Clarence/Nambucca reports a call out at Boronia St, Sawtell. A crew is responding to calls of three houses inundated by flood water.

If you require SES assistance call 132500. If it is life threatening call 000 immediately. 

2.20pm: ITS been a hard day at the office for the crew at SES.

"We have had 54 call outs since the rain hit," a spokesperson said.

"We have responded to three flood rescues; one at Hogbin Drive (Aviation Drive), also in Boambee and at Coffs Harbour Base Hospital, all for people stuck in their cars."

Those rescued sustained no injuries but the same can't be said for their vehicles, with one car under water up to the windows.

"Many of our calls have involved help with sand bagging and to attend leaking roofs."



  • Bray St is now open.
  • Halls Rd is now open. Water receding proceed with caution.
  • Byrnes bridge closed. No through access after Byrnes bridge Bowraville to Bellingen.

1.45pm: FORTUNATLEY any occupant/s of a Commodore caught in rising waters beside Aviation Dr were out of the car when it submerged in water.

A spokesperson for NSW Police said motorists should avoid rising waters at all costs.

"The clear message is flood waters are deadly and it can't be put in any other words," the spokesperson said.

"As severe weather hits us ensure you speak to your family and friends about the danger of entering flood affected areas and driving through flood waters.

"It's just not worth the risk. Please heed our advice. Your life could depend on it."


Halls Rd has been closed due to water over the road.

Bray St, low lying bridge just past Taloumbi Rd (if heading west) is still closed.  

Where the rainfall has been recorded. Figures courtesy the Bureau of Meteorology.
Where the rainfall has been recorded. Figures courtesy the Bureau of Meteorology.

12.45pm: KEEP the umbrellas handy, with a low pressure deepening offshore from the New South Wales north coast there is more rainfall on the way.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued this information shortly after noon:
Heavy rainfall including locally very heavy falls with thunderstorms.

Synoptic situation: A band of heavy rain, including locally very heavy rain associated with embedded thunderstorms, is likely to cause flash flooding in:
Northern Rivers, northern parts of Mid North Coast and in eastern parts of Northern Tablelands.

Widespread 24 hour totals in excess of 100 mm are likely, with locally much higher falls with embedded thunderstorms.

Currently the heaviest falls are occurring in the Coffs Harbour Area. Almost 150mm has fallen in the past three hours at Sawtell and 100 mm been recorded in the past three hours in the western suburbs of Coffs Harbour.

12.30pm: THE numbers are telling the story. A short time ago a spokesperson from the Bureau of Meteorology told ABC radio that parts of the Coffs Coast have had 141mm of rainfall in the past 24 hours which is a new high for NSW.

Flood waters over the road at Bray St.
Flood waters over the road at Bray St. Matt Deans

12.15pm: The heavy rain that has fallen in the catchment upstream of Coffs Harbour has seen the Bureau of Meteorology to issue a minor flood warning for the Coffs Creek.

The warning said the Coffs Creek is likely to reach the minor flood level (three metres) early this afternoon.

11.00am: WITH heavy rainfall in a short amount of time it was a safe bet we would see water on our roads.

Coffs Harbour City Council crews are monitoring the flow of Coffs Creek over the road at a number of locations.

Diversions may be put in place soon at the low lying bridge on Bray St with traffic to be directed via Taloumbi Rd.

At the moment some cars are turning around at the flooded creek crossing while 4WD are driving through the floodwaters. 

Police are also monitoring the Pacific Hwy at the Marcia St intersection (opposite the showground) and if heavy rainfall continues the highway maybe closed. Motorists are advised to avoid both areas.

Topics:  bureau of meteorology coffs creek coffs harbour flood warning road closures traffic wet weather

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Community win: $400k for park makeover

MANY HANDS: Ballina MP Tamara Smith, Nationals Parliamentary Secretary for Northern NSW Ben Franklin and Byron Shire councillor Allan Hunter among the kids celebrating Waterlily Park at Ocean Shores.

Waterlily Park scores grant for future

Hemsworth wiped out by monster wave

Chris Hemsworth often posts photos of him and his kids surfing. Picture; Luke Mun/Instagram

The 34-year-old made light of the incident

Ben Harper just invited himself to Bluesfest

MR BLUESFEST: Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals.

Photo Christian Morrow / Byron Shire News

We have an important message for festival organiser Peter Noble...

Local Partners