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Rains ease in northern NSW as body found

Strong gale force winds, heavy surf and high tides are expected over southern NSW as floodwaters in the north of the state recede while police said they had recovered the body of a woman whose car became trapped in water earlier this week.

The rains that had battered the north have eased as Lismore and Byron Bay reel from devastating flooding.

Wilsons River had peaked at 11.4 metres but that was below higher expectations of 12m.

The Bureau of Meteorology says waters are now below the levee height of 10.6m.

But with two low pressure systems colliding along the southeast of the state, rainfall is expected to hit Newcastle and Sydney on Friday, extending down to the Victorian border into the weekend before easing on Sunday.

Gusts will pick up with speeds reaching up to 100 kilometres per hour.

Waves also will be much higher around coastal areas possibly reaching 9 metres, the BOM said.

Meanwhile the state government, criticised for its flood response by the opposition and residents in Lismore and Byron Bay, has partnered with national non-profit GIVIT to encourage the public to donate to flood victims.

The government says the arrangement “allows councils, local charities and community groups to tell us exactly what they need”.

GIVIT then works to meet these needs through an online warehouse or by purchasing requested items locally using donations.

The body of a 55-year-old woman was found on Thursday evening in floodwaters in North Lismore.

Police said the body is yet to be formally identified but is believed to be that of a missing woman who became trapped in her white station wagon at Monaltrie, south of Lismore, about 10pm on Tuesday.

The 2017 Holden Captiva, with NSW registration YHS 51F, that the woman was driving has not yet been located.

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