Thousands evacuated from their homes as rivers rise in northern NSW

1:00AM | EVACUATIONS are continuing at Murwillumbah amid concerns the Tweed River will burst its banks.

The Bureau of Meteorology has revised the prediction for the Tweed River to reach 6.2m at Murwillumbah early this morning. The Murwillumbah CBD and East Murwillumbah levee may overtop some sections at this height.

As a result, the NSW State Emergency Service is directing residents within the Murwillumbah CBD and East Murwillumbah to evacuate immediately to higher ground within Murwillumbah.


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Areas being evacuated include the area bounded by Church Street, Riverview Street, and the bend on Commercial Road, including all residences on Commercial Rd, and York St, Tumbulgum Rd and George St.

For people who need assistance, an evacuation centre has been set up by Family and Communuty Services at Kings Sacred Heart (Catholic Hall) Murwillumbah Street, Murwillumbah.

Evacuations are also underway in the town of Kyogle.

Residents within the below nominated low-lying areas are being ordered to evacuate within the next three hours.

The evacuation area is known locally as “The Flats” and includes Fawcett Street, McDougall Street, Walters Street, Willis Street, Larkin Street, Norton Street and Chauvel Street.

Residents are warned not to delay evacuating, as roads will be congested or closed and they could become trapped and need rescuing.

Wherever possible, people should go and stay with family or friends, or make other accommodation arrangements.

  • For more information visit the NSW SES website: www.ses.nsw.gov.au
  • For emergency help in floods and storms, call the NSW SES on 132 500
  • For life threatening emergencies call 000 (triple zero) immediately

10:40PM | RESIDENTS in Lismore have been forced to flee their homes amid concerns the Wilsons River could burst its banks.

The northeast corner of NSW has been drenched by Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie as she contracts off the southeast Qld coast after making landfall as a category 4 storm near Bowen, in the state’s far north on Tuesday.

More than 300mm of rain has fallen at Lismore Airport in the last 15 hours.

An evacuation order was issued for the Lismore CBD on Wednesday afternoon. The river continues to rise and is now expected to reach 11.5 metres tonight. This is above the height of the flood levee.

The SES says if the river level begins to breach the levee in Lismore, a siren will sound for one minute, followed by one minute of silence, followed by a siren for another minute.

If the levee is breach, access to the CBD will be lost and those trapped will unable to be rescued.

10:25PM | AN urgent flood evacuation order has been issued for parts of Tweed Heads.

The Bureau of Meteorology predicts the Tweed River will reach a height of two metres around 2am.

The NSW State Emergency Service is directing residents within the nominated areas of Tweed Heads mentioned below to evacuate immediately as further rainfall is predicted that may produce further river rises.

Residents in the following areas must evacuate immediately: 

  • The marina area bounded by Mugga Way, The Quarterdeck and Ducat Street
  • The marina area bounded by Kennedy Dr, Shearwater Pde and Crystal Waters Dr
  • The marina area bounded by Wharf Street and Keith Compton Drive
  • Low lying areas along Kennedy Drive,
  • Low lying areas along Keith Compton Drive

Residents are warned not to delay evacuating, as roads will be congested or closed and they could become trapped and need rescuing.

Wherever possible, people should go and stay with family or friends, or make other accommodation arrangements.

For people who need assistance an evacuation centre has been set up by Family and Community Services at Kingscliff Tafe, Cudgen Road Kingscliff.

As you evacuate you should;

  • Take your important documents, mementos and photos.
  • Take your spare clothing, medicines and personal hygiene supplies.
  • If you are going to the evacuation centre, take blankets/sleeping bags, pillows and sleeping mats.
  • If possible, check to see if your neighbours need help.
  • Turn off the electricity and gas.  Never drive ride or walk through floodwater.
  • Continue to listen to a local radio station for updates.

For emergency help in floods and storms, call the NSW SES on 132 500

4:30PM | MORE than 7000 residents have been ordered to evacuate their homes south of the Gold Coast as floodwaters continue to rise.

A flood evacuation order has been issued for Lismore and the South Murwillumbah, Condong and Tumbulgum areas.

The State Emergency Service says the Wilsons River at Lismore is rising so rapidly, 6000 residents have been ordered to evacuate immediately.

The Wilsons River is expected to reach a height of 11 metres early tomorrow (Friday) morning.

Meanwhile, the Tweed River at Barneys Point is expected to peak at major flood levels around midnight tonight.

As a result, the NSW State Emergency Service is ordering more than 1000 residents in South Murwillumbah, Condong and Tumbulgum to evacuate immediately where safe transit exists and they are able to do so.

“Now is the time to evacuate,” the SES said. “Pack your important items, clean clothes and grab your home emergency kit. Don’t delay in leaving as roads may become congested.”

“Do not delay your evacuation. Roads will be congested or closed. You could become trapped and need rescue. Remaining in flooded areas is dangerous and may place your life at risk.”

Wherever possible, residents are urged to go and stay with family or friends, or make other accommodation arrangements.

  • Murwillumbah Evacuation centre: Kings Sacred Heart (Catholic Hall) Murwillumbah Street, Murwillumbah.
  • Lismore Evacuation centre: Southern Cross University, Military Road, East Lismore.

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