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'Life-threatening' weather continues to pummel east coast: 'Significant risk'

The wild weather across the east coast looks set to continue with heavy rainfall bringing “significant risk” of flooding.

Bureau of Meteorology's Gabrielle Woodhouse warned of potential flash flooding and rising river levels near the Northern Rivers Region and near the Queensland border.

Slow-moving storms could translate into more heavy rainfall for residents along the southern NSW coastline and the northern inland region, she said.

"It's a dynamic situation. The main thing is it's going to remain wet even though we will see the conditions ease off in the northeast on Friday," Ms Woodhouse said, adding rainfall is likely to shift southwards over the weekend.

Lismore, in the NSW Northern Rivers, copped more than 136mm in the past 24 hours from 9am Wednesday while neighbouring Ballina was drenched by 110mm, according to BoM.

A weather map shows projected NSW rainfall.
A weather map shows projected NSW rainfall over the week from Wednesday. Source: Weatherzone via NSW Incidents Alerts

Weatherzone warned in an update on Wednesday that there is a “significant flood risk”.

“The latest model runs indicate a very wet period ahead for eastern NSW with an upgrade in both total amounts and the areas impacted with the entire coast looking at a minimum of 100mm, with widespread 150-200mm and some pockets in excess of 300mm over the next seven-day period,” Weatherzone said.

“These models are likely to chop and change over the next few days, however, the signals are there for a significant risk of both flash and riverine flooding.”

Ballina and Lismore could each receive up to 60mm on Friday.

BoM also issued a severe weather warning with heavy rainfall forecast for the Northern Rivers and parts of Mid North Coast and Northern Tablelands.

“Six-hourly rainfall totals between 70 to 100 mm are likely, increasing to 100 to 160mm over areas east of about Kyogle and Grafton,” the bureau said.

“Locations which may be affected include Tweed Heads, Lismore, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Tenterfield, and Dorrigo.”

Members of the public take shelter from the rain under umbrellas in Sydney.
Pedestrians walk through the deluge in Sydney. Source: AAP

Queensland at risk of damaging winds, life-threatening floods

Queensland also won’t be spared the wrath of mother nature.

BoM issued a severe weather warning for intense rainfall and damaging winds in Southeast Coast and parts of Wide Bay and Burnett and Darling Downs and Granite Belt.

“Six-hourly rainfall totals between 80 and 120 mm are likely, reaching up to 180 mm over areas east of Gympie to Jimboomba. The heaviest falls are expected through the latter parts of Thursday into Friday morning,” BoM said.

“Locally intense rainfall leading to dangerous and life-threatening flash flooding is possible this evening into early Friday within the warning area, with six-hourly rainfall totals up to 300mm possible. A separate Severe Thunderstorm Warning will be issued if very dangerous storms with intense rainfall are detected.

"Damaging wind gusts with peak gusts in excess of 90 km/h are possible from late this afternoon (Thursday) over the Southeast Coast, east of about Gympie to Mt Tamborine.”

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk warned of the potential for “significant rainfall”.

"Since many catchments are now saturated, there is an increased risk of dangerous and life-threatening flash flooding over the coming days,” the premier said.

Brisbane is forecast to receive up to 120mm on Friday while the Gold Coast Seaway could cop up to 100mm.

The floods in Queensland have already claimed one life after a 63-year-old woman died on the Sunshine Coast.

with AAP

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