More rain and floods are set to batter Queensland and NSW and another town is preparing to evacuate amid warnings the bad weather will over the weekend.
Residents living in Wisemen’s Ferry, 75km north-west of Sydney, were the latest to receive evacuation orders from the State Emergency Services on Friday.
The SES warned residents should be prepared to leave their home over the next few hours if they live along River and Singleton roads and the western edge of Laughtondale.
Minor flooding is also expected along the Dawson River at Baralaba, in central Queensland, with more severe thunderstorms headed to the south-east of the state.
The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast the bad weather to continue in both states for at least another week with more thunderstorms and strong winds over the weekend.
Meteorologist Jackson Brown said another cold front was making its way up from Victoria and that more rain could cause renewed river rises, and possible evacuations.
More rain and floods are set to batter Queensland and NSW and another town is preparing to evacuate amid warnings the bad weather will over the weekend (pictured, Lismore in northeastern NSW)
The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast the bad weather to continue in both states for at least another week with more thunderstorms and strong winds over the weekend (pictured, Lismore in northeastern NSW)
Queensland schools will remain shut with more torrential flooding on the way after a historic week of rain.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the decision on Thursday with only children of essential workers permitted at schools, as more dangerous storms are expected through Friday.
‘The safest place for people to be probably over the next 24 to 48 hours is in their homes, with their family and loved ones, not out on the roads, and of course allowing our emergency personnel to get where they need to go,’ the premier said.
The Bureau of Meteorology has predicted flash flooding and minor to major flooding across areas in the southeast stretching from Brisbane’s north to Bundaberg.
These include creeks and catchments that are saturated from rainfall in the last seven days.
Some 500,000 people have already been told to evacuate their homes in recent days around NSW.
About 130,000 homes in the path of a spilling Warragamba dam in the Hawkesbury-Nepean region in western Sydney were given some reprieve on Thursday afternoon with the news that flooding is no longer likely to be worse than it was in March 2021.
A forecast for 600 gigalitres of water to spill over the dam wall daily was revised down to between 300 and 350 gigalitres, after less rain than expected fell in the catchment area.
Western Sydney is still experiencing major flooding, but the rivers are expected to peak below the March 2021 flood.
The Bureau of Meteorology said on Thursday night major flooding was expected at Windsor as the Hawkesbury and Lower Nepean Rivers continued to rise.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the decision on Thursday with only children of essential workers permitted at schools, as more dangerous storms are expected through Friday (pictured, Hawthorne Ferry Terminal in Brisbane)
More rain and floods are set to batter Queensland and NSW and another town is preparing to evacuate amid warnings the bad weather will over the weekend (pictured in Ballina)
Wallacia experienced moderate flooding on Thursday afternoon following peaks on the Nepean River at Menangle and Camden.
Further north, the Richmond River delivered major flooding at Coraki, Bungawalbyn and Woodburn on Thursday, with peaks near the record March 1974 flood level, but Casino and Kyogle fell back below the minor flood level.
The SES responded to more than 2500 requests for assistance and conducted 144 flood rescues in the 24 hours until 5pm on Thursday.
The Bureau of Meteorology cancelled weather warnings for parts of NSW on Thursday.
Severe weather had been forecast for the Northern Rivers, Mid North Coast, Hunter, Sydney and South Coast regions but the bureau said the heavy rainfall over the Hunter and Mid North Coast area had now eased.
A similar warning issued for severe thunderstorms was also cancelled for the Northern Rivers, Mid North Coast and Northern Tablelands.
A volunteer clean up crew in Brisbane has been told to stay indoors until at least Saturday as the city braces for more rain and potential flooding (pictured in Auchenflower, Brisbane)
A family are seen looking in awe at rising flood waters from the Hawkesbury River in Windsor, Sydney on Thursday
But thousands of Australians dealing with severe flooding are not yet out of the woods, with widespread rainfall still forecast for most of the affected NSW regions on Friday.
Countless towns have been left devastated by flooding in recent days with the clean up effort only now able to begin in some areas, while others remain submerged.
Sydney is expected to cop 20mm on Friday, a big drop from the 60-100mm which was predicted on Thursday evening. Residents have also been warned of hazardous surf conditions.
On Thursday night the BoM issued a major flood warning for areas near the Richmond River including Coraki, Woodburn and Bungawalbyn.
A moderate to major flood warning has also been given to the Hawkesbury, Nepean Valley and Colo River.
There were fears flooding in the Nepean and Hawkesbury rivers would exceed the levels of the devastation experienced in March, 2021, but the bureau has said that is now unlikely.
Locals have started the clean up process in Lismore
A man is seen walking through floodwaters with his dog in Milperra, south-west of Sydney
A staircase is seen submerged in water near the Hawkesbury River in Windsor
The Hawkesbury River at the Windsor Bridge was expected to reach 14m on Thursday night, well above levels recorded 12 months ago.
The river peaked at 12.92 metres at North Richmond while the Nepean River is tipped to rise to nine metres at Penrith.
The expected spillage at Warragamba Dam was also downgraded from 600 gigalitres to 300-350 gigalitres.
Half a million people across the state were subject to 76 evacuation orders or warnings, according to Premier Dominic Perrottet.
‘Things will get worse before they get better here in our state,’ he said on Thursday.
‘We do expect particularly in the Hawkesbury region that the floods will be worse than they were last year, and that we see more torrential rain and flooding in Newcastle and Hunter over the course of the day.
Brisbane is one area around Australia that has been devastated by floods
A man is seen trying to clear a drain along a street in Brisbane on Thursday
Bridges have been inundated with water in Sydney’s north-west
‘If you are subject to one of those evacuation warnings, please get ready.’
Up north in Queensland, residents are again bracing for the worst.
Students in the state’s south-east have been told to stay at home from school on Friday.
‘In addition to early collections in those areas today, tomorrow schools across the entire south-east region will only be open for children of essential workers,’ Queensland Education Minister Grace Grace said.
‘However, the message is stay off the roads and stay at home unless you really need to be out. This weather is of serious concern.’
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Thursday shocked many parents when she suddenly encouraged them to collect their kids in the Moreton Bay region, the Sunshine Coast, Gympie and Wide Bay to Bundaberg regions.
One Lismore local had no choice but to kayak down a main road
Loved ones find comfort in each other as they look at the damage by floods in Brisbane
NSW Police rescue teams are seen scouring floodwaters in north-west Sydney
‘Children are safe at school but you should collect your children when it is safe to do so,’ she said.
There are fears of flash flooding in the south-east on Friday but warnings for severe thunderstorms for the coastal area between Bundaberg and Gladstone on the coast was cancelled late on Thursday night.
There are hazardous surf warnings for the Fraser Island Coast, Sunshine Coast Waters and Gold Coast Waters.
Brisbane copped 48mm of rain in just 30 minutes on Thursday. Those near flood waters have been advised to get tetanus shots if not up to date.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Service state duty coordinator Superintendent Simon Evans said SES crews responded to 1,022 calls for help since 3pm on Thursday.
‘The thing to be aware of heading into the weekend is the threat from the weather,’ he said.
‘As we move into recovery mode, people need to be aware of the dangers that have been left behind. That’s those weakened trees, there’s also chemical residue, broken glass, downed power lines and all those other hazards.’
AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL CITY WEATHER FORECAST THIS WEEK
Friday: Min, 17 Max 25. Shower or two
Saturday: Min.17 Max 21. Shower or two
Sunday: Min16. Max 21. Shower or two
Friday: Min. 13 Max 19. Shower or two
Saturday: Min 12. Max 19. Partly cloudy
Sunday: Min.10 Max. 23 Partly cloudy
Friday: Min. 21. Max 30. Partly cloudy
Saturday: Min 20. Max. 29 Shower of two
Sunday: Min. 21. Max 26. Shower or two
Friday: Min.27. Max. 36. Shower or two
Saturday: Min. 27. Max. 35 Shower or two
Sunday: Min.27. Max 34. Shower or two
Friday: Min.15 Max. 32 Sunny
Saturday: Min.17. Max 35. Sunny
Sunday: Min.19. Max 33 Sunny
Friday: Min. 14. Max 26. Showers increasing
Saturday: Min.12 Max. 20 Possible shower
Sunday: Min. 9. Max 19. Partly cloudy
Friday: Min. 11 Max 18. Possible shower
Saturday: Min.9 Max. 17. Partly cloudy
Sunday: Min.7 Max. 19 Partly cloudy
Friday: Min 21, Max 26, partly cloudy
Saturday: Min 17, Max 24, partly cloudy
Sunday: Min 17, Max 23, partly cloudy