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Parts of NSW inundated again as rough weather strikes

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Evacuations are underway in flood-affected parts of NSW, including Lismore, after a low-pressure system inflicted another round of heavy rain, storms and wind on the state’s battered communities.

The NSW State Emergency Services (SES) said in a statement this afternoon that 16 evacuation orders are currently in place, affecting more than 26,000 people.

It says five evacuation warnings have been issued for the Northern Rivers and Mid North Coast, potentially impacting 12,000 residents.

“Major flooding has inundated Lismore for the second time in a month, with the levee overtopped this morning, and flash flooding has inundated parts of Ballina and Byron Bay,” the SES said.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s (BOM) noon update today for NSW says numerous flood warnings are current over the state.

“The risk of severe thunderstorms producing heavy rainfall continues over coastal areas of northern NSW,” BOM said.

Conditions in southeast Queensland have eased somewhat but a minor flood warning has been issued today for the Logan River.

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) says the wild weather has already forced the closure of recovery centres in Lismore and elsewhere but assures the industry will continue to be available under the direction of emergency services.

Claims from the NSW/Queensland catastrophe have already surpassed an estimated $2.45 billion, making it one of the most costly flood disasters in Australia in recent years.

Suncorp says in a statement today the business has received slightly over 41,900 property and motor claims from the floods.

Chairman Christine McLoughlin says the heavy rain being experienced across some of the hardest-hit areas again this week is hampering recovery efforts in some cases.

Meanwhile the NSW Government has appointed Johns Lyng Group to lead the state’s recovery from the floods.

The listed building services provider announced today it has entered into a contract with the Government, where it will take on the role of managing contractor to roll out the state’s Property Assessment and Demolition Program.

The $142 million program provides free structural assessments of eligible flood impacted properties in 58 local government areas affected by the February/March floods. It is open to owners of properties used for residential, small business or primary production purposes.

Businesses or homeowners may be eligible for the program if they meet the criteria such as not having have insurance for the damage, or if their insurance does not cover the damage caused during the floods.