Storm lashing New South Wales coast

Last updated 14:16 23/02/2013

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An Australian teenager has been killed and another 15 people have been rescued in severe weather and flooding across New South Wales.

A low pressure system is moving down the NSW coastline, causing high winds, flooding and heavy rain.

A 17-year-old boy died during the storms after he was sucked into a drainpipe on a golf course on the mid-north coast on Friday night.

The boy was collecting golf balls in waist-deep water with friends in the town of Kew before he got swept away.

A friend found his body this  morning.

More than 3850 people are isolated on the north coast and the NSW State Emergency Service (SES) has received more than 1570 calls for assistance.

No major towns have been cut off, but the SES holds concerns for the NSW town of Bellingen.

"At this stage we haven't had any reports of any major inundations but we're still keeping a close watch on that area," an SES spokeswoman told AAP on Saturday.

Overnight the SES had to perform 15 flood rescues, most of which it said could have been avoided.

"Many of these rescues relate to deliberate entry into floodwater and the NSW SES urges people not to drive, ride or walk through floodwater," it said in a statement.

Flood warnings have been issued for areas around 17 NSW rivers, with major flood warnings in place for the Clarence River and the Bellinger River.

A moderate to major flood warning has been issued for the Macleay River and residents in the Lower Macleay region have been ordered to evacuate.

"We've been door-knocking in the area," the SES spokeswoman said.

"At the end of the day we can't force them to, but we're asking that they leave immediately.

"Once we door-knock it's up to them to go."

A severe weather warning remained in place for the mid-north coast, Hunter, Illawarra, Sydney and parts of the central tablelands.

Heavy rain that could lead to flash flooding is predicted for those areas throughout the day.

Sydney will experience winds of about 50 to 65km per hour tonight.

"Along the coast winds are quite strong," a Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) spokesman said.

"There's also some quite large seas and swell so the surf is quite dangerous and rough."

"It's generally pretty wild and woolly out there."

The SES received about 70 calls from the Sydney metropolitan area but said there wasn't been too much damage around the city.

Cronulla's Wanda Surf Club lost part of its roof in the wild weather.

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- AAP

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