Karl Cooksley and Tony Smith look at the river lapping at the front of the Clarence River Sailing Club.
Karl Cooksley and Tony Smith look at the river lapping at the front of the Clarence River Sailing Club.

Clarence rise close to the limit

CLARENCE River Sailing Club members were busy clearing out their shed yesterday in preparation for the predicted rain ahead.

With rain predicted to continue over the weekend and with last year’s May flood in mind, commodore of the club, Karl Cooksley, said sailors weren’t taking any risks.

“The sailing club is one of the first places in the Clarence to get affected by the water rise. Once the water rises to 1.5 metres we start to move the boats to higher nearby land,” he said.

“If we don’t take a punt and get the boats out we end up in waist-deep water trying to get them out in the dirty water,” Mr Cooksley said.

State Emergency Service (SES) region controller Dave Mackey said the river peaked at 1.43 metres at 3pm yesterday and there was never any call for concern until the river reached 2.1 metres in a flood.

Mr Mackey said the SES observes the river heights and works with the Bureau of Meteorology but did not become operational until the river level reached 2.1 metres and a minor flood warning was issued.

Meteorologist from the Weather Channel, Tom Saunders, said the Valley could expect showers and thunderstorms through to next Tuesday.

“As for a longer-term forecast there is no indication that rainfall will be any different to the average autumn rainfall,” he said.

The average rainfall recorded for the Clarence Valley through the months of March, April and May is 300 millimetres, and the latest rainfall isn’t expected to tip the figure over the seasonal average. A Bureau of Meteorology spokesperson said the current rain was being produced by a combination of a high pressure system off the coast of NSW and a monsoonal low pressure system extending down south-east Queensland.

“The frontal system approaching is going to continue producing showers,” he said.

Grafton recorded 62 millimetres from 9am Monday until 9am yesterday,with Yamba soaking up 204 millimetres in the same time.

Clarence Vaslley rainfall


Monday – nil.

Tuesday – 47.8mm.

Wednesday – 8.4mm.

Thursday (until 9am) – 6.2mm.


Monday – 32mm.

Tuesday – 90.8mm.

Wednesday – 69.8mm.

Thursday (until 9am) – 12.2mm.

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