Residents and tourists on Lord Howe Island in the Tasman Sea off the New South Wales north coast appear to have had a lucky escape after they were battered by ex-cyclone Uesi overnight on Thursday.
The World Heritage listed island, which is home to about 400 people along with 400 tourists, was battered by wind gusts of up to 154km/hr, but on Friday morning there had not yet been any major damage reported.
Authorities on the island will assess the damage, which at this stage is reportedly limited to fallen trees and minor damage to some properties.
Later on Friday, a low pressure system will move further south towards Sydney, building over the weekend to active thunderstorms that forecast both Saturday and Sunday afternoons, particularly through the city’s west. Heavy storms are also forecast for Melbourne on Friday afternoon.
Flood warnings are also in place for the Tweed, Wilsons, Richmond, Brunswick, Bellinger, Marshalls, Wooli, Bellingen, Upper Nepean, Tuggerah Lake, Orara River, Weir River and Paroo River, while hazardous surf and swell conditions are expected on the Byron coast, Coffs coast, Macquarie coast, Hunter coast, Sydney coast, Illawarra coast, Batemans coast and Eden coast.
The widespread rainfall that has battered south-east Queensland over the past few days is expected to ease from Friday.
In Queensland, those storms forced schools and child care centres to close. Authorities are still searching for a missing woman, 26-year-old Yang Chen, who disappeared in the Gold Coast hinterland while walking with a man near Gorge Falls in the Tallebudgera Valley.
A major flood warning in place for the Logan River at Beaudesert, along with a mild warning for the Albert River on Thursday will continue into Friday.
Grace Legge, a Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster, said on Friday morning there had been rainfall between 100-180mm over the past 24 hours.
Legge said that rainfall and storms would continue through Friday and move further south to Victoria.
Rain is forecast for much of the coast on Friday with major falls expected in Sydney, the Northern Tablelands, mid-north coast, Hunter and south coast.
“NSW, through the south-east, pretty much south of Mackay for the coastal areas and further inland, could see heavy falls with thunderstorms, but a bit more isolated than we have been seeing,” she told ABC News Breakfast.
“The rest of that moisture, though, starts going actually a little bit more into western parts of NSW and down to Victoria as well. So, Victoria is looking like it could see severe thunderstorms for pretty much any part of the state.”
Overnight on Friday, the NSW State Emergency Service said it had received more than 300 calls for help due to heavy storms and flooding that has hit the NSW nothern rivers area.
Much of the east coast has been pummelled with rain over the past week, which has been good news for those on the frontlines of the state’s fire crisis.
Authorities confirmed on Thursday that were no uncontained fires for the first time this season.
“All fires are contained so we can really focus on helping people rebuild,” the NSW RFS deputy commissioner Rob Rogers said in a tweet.
On Thursday night, 15,000 homes and businesses were without power across Sydney and the central coast, including three schools in Arcadia, Peakhurst and Somersby.
There are currently 24 fires burning in NSW, all south of Sydney.
The heavy rainfall will also bring “very high” numbers of mosquitos, which will be concentrated in Sydney’s western suburbs, including Parramatta, and in the Georges River at Bankstown and Illawong, authorities said.