A severe weather warning from the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) was followed by wet and windy weather pummelling the region last night leaving almost 10,000 homes and businesses without power between Taree and the border including the entire town of Dorrigo.
Coffs Harbour copped the worst of the rain, with 200mm yesterday and a further 75mm overnight.
The wind has caused more damage, with the SES reporting more than 370 callouts since east coast low conditions began yesterday, including around 55 in the Richmond/Tweed, with most involving roof damage an trees across roads.
Essential Energy say customers at Banora Point, Terranora, Ewingsdale, Bangalow, Tyalgum and Uki are without power.
State Emergency Service (SES) spokeswoman Caroline Ortel said: “Most definitely we’re expecting that as people get out of bed today, be it at home or as they’re travelling along the roads, people will notice that they’ve got roof damage or there are more trees down,” she said.
“So yes, we are expecting those numbers of calls to [increase] considerably.”
Weather forecasters say the storm system is gradually moving out to sea with wind gusts of up to 115 kph at Byron Bay and 90 kph at Yamba and Ballina overnight.
The winds are now centred off the Tweed moving off the coast rapidly.
Gold Coast beaches have been declared closed and the combination of high tides and strong winds have prompted forecasters to warn all but highly experienced surfers to avoid the water.
Surf Life Saving New South Wales spokesman Liam Howitt said the conditions would intensify today, with swells of about three to four metres along the coast.
“We’re looking at a long period swell of up to 13 seconds. Now that long period swell can best be seen when watching a set break through on waves over an exposed rock platform,” he said.
“It’s particularly something that rock fishers need to be aware of because the longer the swell, the longer the time in between sets, the further the waters travelled and the stronger it will be when it eventually does break on land.”