Heavy rain isolates thousands in New South Wales

Nsw emergency service workers are bracing for a long night following heavy rain on the mid north coast that has forced residents to evacuate their homes.

At Coffs Harbour 40 properties were evacuated on Friday night, SES spokesman Phil Campbell said.

By midnight 37 people had been rescued from flood waters, while 4000 people were isolated in the towns of Bellingen, Bowraville, and on the upper Bellinger River and the upper Kalang Rivers.

"`The SES is urging people in Coffs Harbour to stay within their homes this evening and to delay all non essential travel,'' Mr Campbell said.

The Bureau of Metrology said an average of 170 millimetres of rain fell over the Bellinger River Valley during the 30 hours to midnight, while the Bellinger River at Thora reached 3.5 metres at 11.30pm (AEDT) yesterday.

A severe weather warning continues for heavy rain and flash flooding on the mid north coast and northern rivers.

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