SES workers have begun doorknocking in Lismore where the Wilsons River is expected to peak tonight.

42 homes and a caravan park in North Lismore have been evacuated, while other residents have been told they should be prepared to leave their homes.

The Wilsons River is expected to peak at 9.7 metres at midnight.

With heavy rain and high winds buffeting the area, Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell has warned motorists to stay off the roads.

“If you don’t have an urgent reason to be on the road, then stay home…the wind is horrendous…it’s a precarious situation.”