Cyclone adds to watery woes

Flooding rains continue for much of Eastern Australia with a Gold Coast woman missing in floodwaters that have been exacerbated by a tropical cyclone edging towards Australia.

Cyclone Uesi is likely to carry in its wake strengthening winds and pounding surf to the southern Queensland and NSW coastline as thousands of residents are still without power after last weekend’s storms.

The Bureau of Meteorology said the that although the tropical cyclone was expected to remain offshore, it’s impact would include powerful swells across the NSW coast.

A hazardous surf warning has been issued for the Byron Bay coast on Thursday and most of the state’s coastline on Friday as the cyclone tracks towards Lord Howe Island. Tourists and residents on the tiny island 600km east of Port Macquarie have been told to batten down as the storm passes slowly across the area bringing winds of up to 120kph.

Rain is forecast for much of the NSW coast on Thursday with Sydney, the northern tablelands, mid-north coast, Hunter and South Coast forecast to get a drenching.

Flood warnings are in place on Thursday for the Tweed River at Tumbulgum and the Orara River at Glenreagh. Thousands of homes across Sydney are still without power due to the slow and painstaking work of safely re-installing fallen powerlines many of which were brought down by trees in the high winds.

Queensland is also due for another battering across the State’s south-east with major and moderate flooding forecast for a number of local rivers already inundated after a week’s soaking weather.

The last of NSW more than 60 fires that were burning up to a week ago have now been now extinguished by the prolonged wet to the relief of stretched volunteer fire crews.

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