Relentless rain has returned to northern NSW with a deluge causing extensive flooding leaving the region facing yet another disaster.
Steph Cooke, NSW State Minister for Emergency Services, told The Daily Mail that her 'worst fear had been realised' with 3,600 homes left without power in the region.
"Unfortunately overnight, our worst fears have been realised with significantly heavy rainfall across already saturated landscapes, particularly across the Northern Rivers region and the Mid North Coast," she said.
"It's a special reminder and call out to communities to be very careful as you move about.
"We encourage you not to move unless you really need to at this time. We should be treating all powerlines as if they are live."
Lismore's levee overtopped just after 9am on Wednesday morning causing the Wilsons River to flood into city streets with the SES ordering locals to evacuate the CBD immediately.
Residents were told a malfunction in the alarm system has resulted in sirens failing to alert them, with State Emergency Services (SES) reporting that infrastructure had been damaged by the recent disasters.
The Daily Telegraph reported that several rain gauges around Lismore have also been found to be off by almost half a metre when SES personnel performed checks on Wednesday morning.
SES Lismore posted on social media there was a 400mm difference between the countdown display on the Browns Creek pump station and the actual water level.
Regions around tourist hotspot Byron Bay, Ballina, Coffs Harbour and Mullumbimby have also been severely impacted by the deluge.
Some residents have spoken out in anger that they were not given evacuation warnings and orders but authorities have said that the flash flooding has been “unpredictable, fast and exceptionally hard to forecast and predict.”
The Bureau of Meteorology issued severe weather warnings for heavy rainfall for the Northern Rivers, Northern Tablelands, parts of the Mid North Coast in NSW as well as South East Queensland.