State's north awash

Written By miftah nugraha on Rabu, 14 Agustus 2013 | 19.55

RESIDENTS of the Launceston suburb of Newstead are being warned that their properties are at risk of flooding by rising river waters in coming hours.

Launceston City Council and State Emergency Service officers have begun doorknocking residences in Hart St and Birch Avenue, which have been threatened by the swollen North Esk River.

SES spokeswoman Mhairi Revie said at least 24 homes had been affected by flash flooding in Newnham, Newstead, Prospect, Evandale and Perth.

At least 18 businesses in the Kings Meadows shopping strip have been inundated -- the first time in eight years that flooding has been reported in that area.

Ms Revie said sandbagging and water pumping operations were being carried out in affected areas of Northern Tasmania.

She said Launceston's flood levy system, which is still under construction, was unlikely to be breached, but SES was watching closely for any escalation of rainfall or flooding.

A cold front brought overnight rainfalls of between 50mm and 80mm over Northern Catchments including the North Esk, South Esk and Meander.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued moderate flood alerts for those catchments.

In Tasmania's south, the Styx and Tyena Rivers are running high after rainfalls as high as 38mm over the Derwent River catchment areas, but flooding is not expected in the lower Derwent River.

Tasmania Police reports that most affected roads are passable at this stage. Some including the West Tamar Highway, Youl Rd and Winkleigh Rd, have flood-warning signs.

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