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Communities on flood alert as weekend thunderstorms gather


Cars driving through the flood waters from Lake Forbes after the rising flood waters from the Lachlan River moved closer to town. Picture: Jonathan Ng
Cars driving through the flood waters from Lake Forbes after the rising flood waters from the Lachlan River moved closer to town. Picture: Jonathan Ng

Already-sodden communities in regional NSW are unlikely to cop a break with widespread weekend thunderstorms putting several regions back on flood watch.

The Bureau of Meteorology on Saturday said severe thunderstorms developing near the northeastern parts of the state could produce damaging winds and heavy rainfall this weekend that may lead to flash flooding.

The Central West town of Forbes could also see the return of floodwaters, while the Gwydir and Namoi Rivers in the state’s northwest are also tipped to rise.

Floodwaters from Lake Forbes. Picture: Jonathan Ng
Floodwaters from Lake Forbes. Picture: Jonathan Ng
A trough splitting the nation in half will bring widespread rain for the east coast.
A trough splitting the nation in half will bring widespread rain for the east coast.

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This has put residents of Moree, Tamworth and Narrabri on alert.

Forbes, meanwhile is expected to be declared a natural disaster zone after major flooding caused extensive damage to farms, flooded streets, and triggered a series of rescues throughout the week.

The Lachlan River peaked at 10.53m on the eastern side of Forbes on Thursday – slightly below what had been expected – and not quite at the level of the floods that smashed the town five years ago.

Further river rises could be on the way for Forbes residents. Picture: Gary Ramage
Further river rises could be on the way for Forbes residents. Picture: Gary Ramage

Meteorologist Jonathan How said more rain over the coming days “could see continued impacts”.

Elsewhere, scattered severe thunderstorms are likely to produce damaging wind gusts in parts of southern inland Queensland on Saturday evening.

Thunderstorms are tipped to hit northern NSW and Southern Queensland on Saturday evening.
Thunderstorms are tipped to hit northern NSW and Southern Queensland on Saturday evening.

Mr How said a trough across Central Australia was acting as a divider with hot and dry conditions to the north and cool to the south, though this would give way to storms across NSW and southern Queensland.

Meanwhile the tiny South Australian town of Nullabor is currently in its wettest November in more than 130 years with 85mm falling in the 19 days to Friday.

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