Wild weather causes extensive damage to northern NSW, flooding in Queensland

The roof of a small town pub has been ripped off by severe winds in NSW while motorists have been stranded by flash flooding in Queensland during a New Year deluge.

The Clarence Hotel’s roof was stripped off on Tuesday afternoon during a raging storm that caused widespread damage to the Northern Rivers Region, including flash flooding.

Wind and rain caused significant damage in Maclean, on the banks of the Clarence River, after it hit about 1.30pm on Tuesday, the State Emergency Service said.

Fallen trees and powerlines were strewn across roads in some areas of the town, police said. The State Emergency Service has received around 60 calls for help.

Waterview Motel owner Brian Koorockin told AAP: “It started off as rain, then thunder and lightning and then the wind just picked up and pulled roofs off, pulled trees out of the ground and knocked over fences.”

“The hotel roof is over the top of powerlines…it’s sort of hanging off the side, it kind of flipped off.”

Damaging winds and heavy rain, and large hailstones, are forecast of a large swathe running from Lismore in the north to Eden in the south, a distance of more than 1250km.

The many locations set to be affected include Coffs Harbour, the Blue Mountains, Bowral and Wollongong.