VIDEO: Lismore CBD completely underwater as river peaks
SATURDAY 10.30am: LISMORE retailer Alex Clarke live streamed a video from his kayak while paddling on Magellan St and Carrington St in downtown Lismore yesterday afternoon.
The footage reveals the devastation first hand.
Mr Clarke, the owner of Magellan St's PowerMax Computers, said " I think it's fair to say this took everyone by surprise" and it was "pretty scary".
"Good luck to us all," he said sombrely.
The video has been viewed more than 58,000 times. It was one of several videos Mr Clarke shared via Facebook at the height of the flooding.
The flood has certainly peaked in Lismore, with the Bureau of Meteorology's river height gauge showing the Wilsons River at 10.10m just after 10am this morning.
But the floodwaters could take days to recede.
UPDATE 7.30pm: THE Wilsons River has peaked, but police are warning that morning rain is on the way.
Richmond Local Area Command's Senior Constable David Henderson has said: "This is now the worst Lismore flood since 1974. More rain is on the way."
The SES have sent a text message to local residents reading: "The Wilsons River peaked at 11.57m today. Lismore declared natural disaster area. Please take care as waters recede."
UPDATE 7pm: FOOTAGE of the Lismore CBD shows just how severe the flood is since water started to run over the levee in the early hours of this morning.
Keen St is submerged, completely engulfing shops up to their awnings, in footage taken by resident Darrell Crockford and posted to Facebook.
The Bureau of Meteorology has reported the Wilsons River at Lismore is still close to its peak at about 11.57m.
UPDATE 3pm: The highest point reached by the Lismore flood was 11.59m however a high tide this afternoon may still send the level higher.
According to Bureau of Meteorology data the river reached its highest point so far just after 11am.
However, water continues to rush into the Lismore CBD over the levee walls, and will continue to do so until the flow falls below 11m.
On the Richmond River major flooding is also occurring at Kyogle.
The Richmond River at Casino Road Bridge may peak near 11.80 metres Friday afternoon with minor flooding.
Downstream, moderate flooding is occurring along the Richmond River at Coraki with a peak expected this evening at about 6m.
Minor flooding is occurring along the Richmond River at Bungawalbyn, and the river there is expected to peak near 5.50 metres Friday evening with major flooding.
At Woodburn, the Richmond the river level may peak near 4.10 metres also this evening.
Friday 9.30am: LISMORE is officially seeing its highest flood since 1974, reaching 11.53m just after 9am, and still rising.
While the flood appears to be slowing down, it still shows no signs of peaking.
The Lismore levee has successfully directed water into the CBD via a pre-planned route down Browns Creek to Dawson St, which is now completely underwater.
Excess floodwater has travelled down Molesworth St and turned left at Woodlark St, continuing down to Dawson St.
It is now inevitable that businesses on Woodlark St will be inundated at some stage in the next few hours.
Several businesses including Planet Music are already metres underwater.
Friday 4.34am: SES have warned destructive winds set to batter the Northern Rivers today.
After 24 hours of torrential rain, destructive winds are likely to impact residents in the
Northern Rivers during Friday.
As Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie moves south east, a cold front has moved up along the coast bringing storm to gale force winds to the Northern Rivers during Friday.
Damaging north-easterly winds averaging 65km/h with gusts in excess of 90km/h are forecast along the coast north of Yamba today with destructive southerly wind gusts in excess of 125km/h possible along the coast and elevated terrain.
Damaging surf conditions are expected to along the Byron coast on Friday.
Waves exceeding five metres in the surf zone are likely to produce significant beach erosion.
High tides today in this area may exceed the highest astronomical tide of the year.
NSW SES Incident Controller for the Northern Rivers, David Monk advised residents to stay indoors on Friday.
"The flooding is likely to remain in the area for the coming days and we're asking residents to stay out of floodwater" he said.
"Coupled with the damaging winds, Friday is set to be a busy day for NSW SES volunteers".
Residents should secure loose items, move vehicles under cover or away from trees and keep at least 8 metres away from fallen power lines.
For emergency help in floods and storms, call the NSW SES on 132 500, or if the situation is
life-threatening call 000 (triple-zero).
Friday 4am: THE Wilsons River at Lismore has now reached 10.74m and is still rising.
Lismore City Council predicts the Lismore levee walls generally start over topping between 10.6m and 10.7m.
Much of South Lismore and North Lismore are now likely underwater.
The Bureau has predicted it will reach 11.5m sometime during the morning. If it does so, this would be the highest flood since 1974.
Destructive winds are now also blowing about much of the Northern Rivers, with gusts up to 125kmh possible along the coast.
Thursday 11.23pm: LISMORE City Council have upgraded the expected flood peak to 11.5m on Friday morning.
Thursday, 6.30pm: THE predicted flood bearing down on Lismore could be the biggest in 30 years.
The 11m peak predicted by the Bureau of Meteorology would exceed the previous major flood peaks in 2009, 2005, and 2001.
The 1989 flood, which inundated Lismore, peaked at 11.28m.
The river is currently sitting at just above 6m and will rise through the evening.
Lismore City Council has issued a prediction of what is likely to happen in Lismore as the flood rises, as follows:
• At 9.86 metres, water may reach the floor height of the Lismore Palms Caravan Park
• At 9.88 metres, about 600 metres of the southern end of the Lismore Airport is covered by water, which closes the airport to normal air traffic.
10m and above
• At 10.00 metres, the South Lismore levee may overtop between 10 and 10.2m when both the Wilsons River and Leycester Creek are in flood or when only the Wilsons River is in flood. The levee overtops in the North West Corner. Soon afterwards South Lismore is rapidly inundated with high velocity floodwaters.
• There is a risk that evacuation routes may be lost if pumps malfunction.
• The evacuation route from the CBD to the Bruxner Highway is via Conway St and/or Molesworth St. Lismore to Dunoon road may be closed.
• At 10.13 metres, Conway Street may be closed (if the Browns Creek Basin is full).
• The Lismore to Nimbin road is closed near Goolmangar Shop.
• The Lismore to Woodburn road is closed at treatment works flat.
• At 10.40 metres, in extremely rare events the Central Lismore levee at Browns Ck may begin to overtop. This will occur when Leycester Ck and Wilsons River peaks occur concurrently and are accompanied by fast rates of rise. Once the levee overtops floodwater will flow down the browns creek floodway into the basin area, flooding central Lismore.
Lismore CBD flooding at 10.6m and above
• At 10.60 to 10.70 metres, typical overtopping height of the Central Lismore levee. Once the levee overtops floodwater will flow down the Browns Creek floodway into the basin area, flooding central Lismore. As river levels continue to rise overtopping will occur at Gasworks Creek Spillway and Spinks Park Spillway. In a very large flood the entire levee system may be overtopped.
• At 11.05 to 11.16 metres, the Bruxner Highway closed to all traffic east and west (11.05m).
• At 11.36 metres, water may enter the Northern Star building in Molesworth Street north*.
ORIGINAL: LISMORE is being warned to brace for a bigger flood than in 2005 and 2001 with a major flood now predicted early tomorrow morning.
The SES has issued a mandatory evacuation order of over 6500 people for the Lismore CBD, North Lismore, and South Lismore.
"It is not issued lightly, people must leave for their own safety," an SES spokesman said.
The Bureau of Meteorology is now calling an 11m flood, which would go over the levee walls and flood parts of the CBD.
Lismore City Council closed the levee gates earlier this afternoon.
The SES has advised:
- 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, 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 at Southern Cross University, Military Road, East Lismore.
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.
Up to 270 millimetres of rain has been recorded during the past 15 hours to 03:00 pm Thursday over the Wilsons River valley.
Further rainfall is forecast for the next 24 to 48 hours which could produce further river level rises. The situation is being closely monitored and revised predictions will be issued if necessary.