Flooding in NSW has claimed two lives, cut roads and power
and prompted evacuation orders for communities along the
A 17-year-old boy died after being swept into a drainpipe on
Friday night as he was collecting golf balls in waist-deep
water in the town of Kew.
Early on Saturday afternoon the body of a man was found in
his submerged car on a flooded road at Mylneford, about 20km
northwest of Grafton.
NSW Police have urged motorists to avoid driving into
floodwaters following the man's death and more than 20
rescues from floodwaters as a low pressure system tracked
south bringing heavy rain and winds.
Evacuation orders were issued on Saturday for communities
along the mid-north coast as rising rivers were predicted to
overtop levees and cause flooding.
Kempsey's central business district was expected to be
flooded late on Saturday night.
The flooding has forced roads closures, including parts of
the Pacific Highway and other major routes, and the wild
weather has cut power to thousands of residents.
Around 100 train passengers on the Countrylink XPT service
from Sydney to Casino were trapped for nearly 17 hours after
fallen trees, floodwaters and a landslide stopped the train
three times before it reached Coffs Harbour at midday on
Meanwhile, a Westpac Lifesaver rescue helicopter on Saturday
afternoon flew a family of eight, including a newborn baby,
to Port Macquarie from a farm cut off by floodwaters about
30km west of Wauchope.
The chopper was also diverted to rescue a woman trapped in
her car by floodwaters.
On Saturday afternoon an evacuation order was issued for
downtown residents and businesses of Kempsey as the Macleay
River rose and was expected to flood the central business
district on Saturday night.
Another evacuation order was issued for low-lying parts of
Port Macquarie and surrounds while other communities,
including around Grafton and Bellingen, as well as parts of
Lismore in the state's north, were issued with warnings.
The Bureau of Meteorology predicted the Macleay River at
Kempsey Bridge would peak near 7.3 metres at 6am (AEDT) on
Sunday with further rises possible.
NSW's Transport Management Centre urged motorists not to
travel on the mid-north or north coast because of closures in
place on the Pacific and Oxley Highways and other major
It said the New England Highway remained an alternative route
to and from Queensland.
The State Emergency Service said that by mid-Saturday
afternoon it had attended 2162 call-outs in storm-affected
It said nearly 18,400 people and 7350 dwellings were subject
to evacuation orders in northeast NSW and around 3700 people
were isolated by floodwaters.
Up to 20,000 residents were affected by power cuts caused by
The Bureau of Meteorology said the low would track slowly
towards the southwest to be near Dubbo late on Saturday
evening, with widespread rain expected in eastern NSW.
Gales were expected in coastal areas with damaging gusts and
surf but conditions are expected to ease on Sunday.