Lismore businesses rise from the floods and carry on

ALL geared up to launch Lismore's first boutique wine bar, Claire Mason and her business partner's plans to open Augustine's Wine Bar this week were washed away with the torrents of water that ripped through the town.

Fortunately, Ms Mason said the elevated floor of their intimate Woodlark St bar saved the pair's first ever business venture from major damage.

 

Some streets in Lismore are starting to return to normal as volunteers clear the streets of drenched goods.
Some streets in Lismore are starting to return to normal as volunteers clear the streets of drenched goods. Claudia Jambor

"We were able to put stuff up high but our main concern is the fridges," Ms Mason said.

"Like most other food and beverage business, the fridges are the most expensive thing.

 

 

RESILIENT: Claire Mason had just opened their new wine bar.
RESILIENT: Claire Mason had just opened their new wine bar. Claudia Jambor

"We haven't been set back too much at this stage we are still assessing everything, of the fridges are okay then that would be a bonus."

The flooding hasn't wavered Ms Mason's dedication to opening the bar with plans afoot for a fundraising event soon.

 

 

Piles of ruined goods and rubbish fill back streets of Lismore's CBD.
Piles of ruined goods and rubbish fill back streets of Lismore's CBD. Claudia Jambor

Some streets within Lismore's CBD have started to resemble their former selves as stores continue to clear out sodden goods and equipment.

Walking around other areas of the precinct, high piles of rubbish, cracked roads and tips are a harrowing reminder of the damage the regional city has endured.

A mutual sentiment from Lismore businesses like Betta Electrical manager Michael Haddin was their gratitude for the community's support.

 

 

Piles of ruined goods and rubbish fill back streets of Lismore's CBD.
Piles of ruined goods and rubbish fill back streets of Lismore's CBD. Claudia Jambor

"It's a disaster but it is made better by people getting in and helping," Mr Haddin said.

He praised his staff and members of the community who rolled up their sleeves and supported the store during the clean up effort.

The national franchise looked at establishing a temporary space, which is hoped to open by Friday.

Friday is also the opening goal for Mel's Cafe and Lismore Discount Drug Store.

 

Some streets in Lismore are starting to return to normal as volunteers clear the streets of drenched goods.
Some streets in Lismore are starting to return to normal as volunteers clear the streets of drenched goods. Claudia Jambor

Telstra area general manager Mike Marom said the Lismore store "will take some time to repair" as they explore suitable location to set-up two mobile stores.

Some CBD employees were able to be paid during the forced closures and clean up while others were left without pay until their workplace reopened.

Thankfully, some business like The Bircher Bar have managed to get their staff back to work.

 

Workers emptying EB Games of muddied electrical equipment and goods.
Workers emptying EB Games of muddied electrical equipment and goods. Claudia Jambor

As they begin to pour their first coffees since the flood, owner Darcy Ogdon-Nolan moves forward in the knowledge trade won't be the same for some time.

"It's going to be a different operation for a while but all and all it is coming back together and people are starting to come down and support us again," Mr Ogdon-Nolan said.

"Amidst all the chaos on the streets, people are just sort of walking around it and continuing life on as normal as possible."

 

Mel's Cafe and Takeaway is getting ready fire up its coffee machine and deep fryers with hopes to reopen on Friday (April 7).
Mel's Cafe and Takeaway is getting ready fire up its coffee machine and deep fryers with hopes to reopen on Friday (April 7). Claudia Jambor

Trades people like Horn's Gas Services and its owner Hayley Brown have pushed back non-urgent works for two weeks to help flood-affected residents.

She said the service was ready to jump to the aid of businesses and homes in need post-floods.

In recent days, the service has attended about 14 jobs daily in Lismore and its surrounds.

"We knew that when it did flood, we'd need to be ready to help others," Mrs Brown said.

 

 

Police patrolling the streets of Lismore as the town continues to clean up.
Police patrolling the streets of Lismore as the town continues to clean up. Claudia Jambor

"They haven't stopped, it's been crazy." 

The floods may mark the end of some businesses in Lismore's CBD with many uncertain about whether they will ever open again.

Lismore Mayor Isaac Smith highlighted that uncertainty after talking with traders in recent days.

"There are a lot of sole traders who are really worried about just opening again," Cr Smith said.


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