Heavy surf hits coast but winds calmer

Heavy surf is forecast to batter the NSW north coast but the weather bureau has cancelled earlier predictions of strong winds for the rest of the state.

While the worst of the state’s wild weather is over, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) is expecting dangerous sea swells to continue into Thursday morning from Sydney through to the far north coast town of Ballina.

The weather bureau has gale force warnings in place between Port Macquarie and Point Danger on the Queensland border.

It expects seven-metre waves to pound the coast as southerly winds of 65km/h howl.

Late on Wednesday night, it cancelled a strong wind warning for the rest of the NSW seaboard, from Port Macquarie down to Merimbula on the far south coast, predicting winds would not exceed 46km/h.

Residents in low-lying coastal areas are being advised to prepare for possible sea flooding.

After two days of heavy wind and rain, the State Emergency Service (SES) has received 1535 calls for help but the volume of requests dropped off early on Wednesday afternoon.

“I would say the majority of our jobs have been finalised now; there’s a handful being wrapped up at the moment,” SES spokeswoman Becky Gollings said.

“Our advice … is there’s nothing to be concerned about.”

Earlier, a BoM expert said a pressure system had moved offshore.

“The worst of it is certainly finished,” meteorologist Andrew Haigh told AAP.

Essential Energy said extra maintenance workers were on standby up to the Queensland border after the windy conditions farther south toppled trees and power lines, cutting power to thousands of homes.

NSW Emergency Services Minister Mike Gallacher on Wednesday praised the SES for responding to flash flooding and fallen trees as 127km/h winds tore off roofs and downed powerlines in Sydney.

“People were well advised to batten down the hatches and prepare for the wind,” he told AAP.

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