Severe thunderstorms, heavy rain forecast for New South Wales

A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for parts of northern New South Wales as the state braces for several more days of heavy rain.

Residents in Lismore, Ballina, Casino, Kyogle, Yamba and Maclean have been warned to expect heavy rainfall and flash flooding as storms pass over the region on Saturday morning.

“Stay vigilant and monitor conditions. Note that the landscape may have changed following bushfires,” the Bureau of Meteorology said.

“Run-off from rainfall in fire affected areas may behave differently and be more rapid. It may also contain debris such as ash, soil, trees and rocks.”

Torrential rain on Friday saw a creek in Bingara fill and flow with water for the first time in five years, according to the ABC.

“Great to see. It brought a bit of a spark to town,” Bingara farmer Robert Kilmore told the broadcaster.

“Everyone in town was driving around to look at it — amazing what rain can do that’s for sure.””/>
media_cameraThe Australian Reptile Park was hit by flash flooding on Friday. Picture: AAP/Supplied
Soaked koalas had to be moved to drier enclosures. Picture: AAP/”/>
media_cameraSoaked koalas had to be moved to drier enclosures. Picture: AAP/Supplied

Animals at the Australian Reptile Park on the NSW Central Coast also had to be relocated amid flash flooding.

Footage from the park showed director Tim Faulkner carrying two drenched koalas over a flooded bridge while keepers monitored the alligators in a rising lagoon.

“This is incredible!” Mr Faulkner later said in a statement.

“We haven’t seen flooding like this at the park for over 15 years! We’ve even had keepers stationed at our Alligator Lagoon to monitor the water levels, which were rising beyond the fence line.”

Rain fell over fire-ravaged Bilpin, in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, on Friday. Picture: AAP/Dan”/>
media_cameraRain fell over fire-ravaged Bilpin, in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, on Friday. Picture: AAP/Dan Himbrechts

Rain is expected to fall across most of New South Wales, barring the state’s west and southwest, across the weekend, with the potential for “supercell” storms on Monday.

Meanwhile, parts of Victoria have been warned to expect very poor air quality over the next few days.

Easterly winds are forecast to bring smoke haze from fire-ravaged areas to central parts of the state on Saturday, according to Environment Protection Authority Victoria.

A low-pressure system could also mean heavier falls across the state on Sunday and Monday, but it is not yet clear whether that rain will reach bushfire regions.

“Certainly, at this stage, there is the potential that we could see more rainfall across those fire-affected areas,” BOM senior meteorologist Diana Eadie said.

“But it is highly dependent on exactly where that low (pressure system) is, and we will be monitoring that very carefully over the coming days.”

– With AAP

Originally published as Warning as severe storms cross NSW

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