Deluge to arrive from ex-cyclone

FALLS of 100mm or more were expected across parts of the New England and North West for a 24-hour period from yesterday afternoon as ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald tracked down Australia's east coast.

Freshening winds were also expected across the Tablelands, with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting winds of 60km/h, with gusts peaking at 100km/h, bureau meteorologist Julie Evans said.

She said no rivers in NSW were flooded yet, but that our district could expect 50-100mm of rain from late yesterday afternoon up until at least noon today.

Ms Evans said heavy rain was expected yesterday "at 150mm-plus, almost like a line from Tamworth down to Port Macquarie".

About 100mm was expected around Armidale but Tamworth could expect about 50mm.

"The Tamworth area is out of that heavy rain," she said.

Only 9.4mm had fallen in Tamworth in the 24-hour period up to 4.30pm yesterday.

Between 9am-3pm yesterday, Armidale had 9mm, Glen Innes 17mm, Guyra 10mm, Inverell 10mm, Narrabri 3mm, Tamworth 2mm and Woolbrook 10mm.

A flood watch for the Upper Macintyre Valley and Northern Tablelands has been in force since Friday, issued by the State Emergency Service's (SES) North West headquarters.

The Upper Macintyre Valley includes the Macintyre River at Inverell and the Severn River at Ashford.

The SES said there may also be local flooding in other parts of the Northern Tablelands, particularly in Tenterfield and surrounding areas, including the Mole and Beardy rivers and the Dumaresq River at Mingoola.

SES North West region controller Colin Malone said he'd spoken to SES volunteers in a teleconference at 3pm yesterday.

The volunteers, from Tenterfield, Inverell and Deepwater, had told him there had been a "freshening of the runs in the river and creeks around town (at Tenterfield)" but that there had been no flooding as yet.

"We're monitoring the system," he said.

Pindari Dam, at less than 50 per cent capacity following a long dry spell over summer, would probably soak up the rain rather well.

"The farmers are loving it," he said.

"I've spoken to farmers from Ashford and Garah who are saying the cracks in the ground are sucking up all the rain."

Only one flood rescue had happened so far about 10am yesterday, a person was rescued by the SES after trying to cross Sandy Flat Creek near Tenterfield.

Units would be on high alert overnight last night, he said.

Armidale SES spokeswoman Elaine Towner said they'd only had one callout yesterday morning, to a tree branch which had fallen onto Galloway St, Armidale.

FloodSafe advice is available at www.ses.nsw.gov.au

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