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Wild weather predicted for NSW north coast

AAP logoAAP 3/08/2016 By Anna Hitchings

A severe weather warning has been issued for the NSW north coast, with damaging winds, heavy rain and flash flooding expected.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued the warning on Wednesday for waterways near Kempsey, Coffs Harbour and Lismore.

The warning says the wild weather is due to a low pressure system off the coast, which is expected to move slowly northwards overnight before moving east over the Tasman Sea on Thursday.

BOM predicts up to 200mm of rain is possible over a 24-hour period.

The warning comes after areas further south around the Hunter Valley were hit by bad weather.

Mooral Creek, near Port Macquarie, had 112mm of rain by 11am, with other areas recording around 100mm.

Strong winds also lashed the area, with gales in the Hunter Valley reaching almost 100km/h.

Winds across the region are expected to reach up to 70km/h, with Murrurundi Gap in the Hunter Valley already recording gusts of 98km/h shortly before 4am.

Surf Life Saving NSW is predicting swells of up to four metres along the coast, with BOM warning locals to expect damaging surf conditions.

State emergency services and NSW Police have issued pleas for motorists to avoid driving through waterways.

NSW SES has had nearly 160 calls from residents and they expect this number to grow as the weather becomes more severe in the afternoon.

Despite frustrated warnings to motorists not to enter flood waters, volunteers have had to perform more than 450 rescues so far this year.

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