More than 3000 people are isolated in NSW's north as gale
force winds, strong rains and flooding lash the region.
A severe weather warning is in place for northern NSW, with
the Bureau of Meteorology warning of very heavy rains leading
to flash flooding over the Northern Rivers, Mid North Coast,
Northern Tablelands and Hunter forecast districts.
Late on Friday night, the NSW State Emergency Service said
the extreme weather had isolated about 3500 people on the
An SES spokesman told AAP that "no significant towns have
been isolated at this stage" but that Bellingen was likely to
be cut off overnight.
He said the SES had received 1000 calls for assistance so
far, and had completed nine flood rescues, including one in
which three people were dragged from a car at Taree.
He expected the threat of flooding to increase on Saturday.
"We are expecting that tomorrow in particular the Macleay and
the Clarence will begin to peak and we'll begin to see a lot
more water affect places like Grafton and Kempsey," he said.
On its website, the SES is advising residents at Newry
Island, Bellingen Quays and Yellow Rock to evacuate.
Meanwhile, Essential Energy says 33,000 homes are without
power on the state's north coast due to the inclement
The company says the worst hit areas included Ballina, Byron,
Yamba and Maclean.
Homes are also impacted from Woolgoolga down to Bellingen and
Nambucca Heads, it advises.
An Essential spokesman said in a statement that in some
customers would have their power off over the weekend.