The intense weather pummelling New South Wales is “far from over” as two major systems collide to bring more heavy rain and major flooding to a state already in crisis.
The Australian Defence Force will join the emergency effort today as many thousands continue to face evacuation orders nervously wait as rivers swell beyond capacity.
The bureau warned 10 million Australians were under a weather warning as two major systems collided, leaving Western Australia the only mainland state not affected.
“It may have been going for days but unfortunately this situation is far from over,” the BOM said.
Warnings for heavy rain, damaging winds and heavy surf cover an area similar in size to Alaska.
Along the coast, the bureau expects the Northern Rivers, Mid North Coast and, later in the day, the South Coast to be the worst hit.
In a severe weather warning issued just before 11pm on Monday it warned heavy rain and flooding would be life-threatening in some parts.
The bureau warned because the coast had already been so thoroughly drenched, even moderate localised rainfall could provoke flash flooding.
Nambucca Heads was one of several locations to cop more than 200 millimetres of rain on Monday and Coffs Harbour had 183 millimetres.
Further west, forecasters expect the highest chance of flash flooding in the Upper Western, Central Tablelands, North West Slopes and Plains and Central West Slopes and Plains regions.
The ACT, Snowy Mountains and Northern Tables are expected to bear the brunt later in the day.
ADF sends rescue helicopters to NSW
There have already been hundreds of rescues in NSW of people trapped by rapidly rising floodwaters or cut off as rivers breached their banks.
In one rescue, crews trying to reach a family on the Mid North Coast had to fend off snakes that “jumped into the life raft” looking for refuge, Fire and Rescue NSW said yesterday.
The Australian Defence Force will send two search and rescue helicopters to flooded areas today after NSW requested backup.
“The search and rescue choppers will be able to work through night and day and supporting personnel will be made available to make this happen,” David Littleproud, the Minister for Emergency Management, said.
“Both will have the capability to winch and recover in the dangerous flood areas.
“They will operate out of Nowra and Bega on the New South Wales south coast.”