Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology

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Major flooding for Northern Rivers including Lismore


Issued: 12PM AEDT Wednesday 30 March 2022

Rain, storms and wind increased overnight through southern and coastal parts of Northern Rivers, and coastal parts of the Mid North Coast, due to a low-pressure system off the northern NSW coast.

This led to further flood warnings being issued.

Numerous flood warnings are current over New South Wales including for:

  • major for the Wilsons River where the levee at Lismore overtopped around 8am with further rises today;
  • moderate to major for the Richmond River–Coraki, Bungawalbyn;
  • moderate to major for the Bellinger and Kalang rivers with major occurring at Thora and Bellingen and expected at Repton from midday and
  • moderate to major for the Clarence River with major flood levels forecast at Grafton on Thursday morning.

The risk of severe thunderstorms producing heavy rainfall continues over coastal areas of northern New South Wales. Six-hourly rainfall totals associated with the severe thunderstorms could produce up to 200 mm in areas including Coffs Harbour, Woolgoolga, Sawtell, Urunga and Glenreagh.

The severe thunderstorms may lead to dangerous and life-threatening flash flooding in coastal areas.

A severe weather warning is current for Northern Rivers, Mid North Coast and parts of Northern Tablelands forecast districts with the risk of heavy rainfall with six-hourly rainfall totals between 80 to 140 mm possible, reaching up to 200 mm over coastal areas and ranges.

During Wednesday the low-pressure system is expected to start drifting offshore and moving south, meaning an easing trend.

A strong high-pressure system near Tasmania will bring increasing winds and seas along the NSW coast from Wednesday, increasing on Thursday. Large and powerful waves are expected to develop later in the week, with coastal erosion likely in vulnerable areas.

Heavy rain and flash flooding was reported at Ballina Airport with 93mm in one hour, Alstonville recording 121mm in 3 hours and Evans Head recording 78mm in one hour.

Ballina received 282mm of rain, while Byron Bay received 164mm at Cape Byron AWS; 282mm at Belongil Creek Bridge, and 252mm at Tallow Creek Bridge.

The Bureau is recommending communities in these areas stay up to date with the latest Bureau warnings through the Bureau's website ( and BOM Weather app and follow the advice of emergency services.