SEVERAL streets in the Byron Bay CBD were transformed into lakes on Wednesday night after sustained rain throughout the day overwhelmed the town's drainage system.
Visitors frolicked in knee deep water on Lawson Street on Wednesday night while flood water crept into some shops including the Raine and Horne Rental Centre in Byron Street.
The rain forced the evacuation of three rooms at Atlantic Byron Bay on the corner of Middleton and Marvel Street early Thursday morning with more than 2ft of water surrounding the property.
"We took our guest straight to other accommodation on higher ground, it turned out to be a very expensive night for us," Kim Amos owner of the Atlantic Byron Bay said.
"At 6am this morning the water along with wood chip from our gardens and council gardens was through three rooms.
"We are normally aware of the low and high tides because of the water levels in Byron often rise during storms.
"Usually if it coincides with a high tide we are in trouble, but last night it was dead low tide when the torrential rain hit and this is the highest we have ever seen it here.
"We have had three occasions over the last 11 years that we have had flooding here but nothing like this.
"Lawson Street was a foot under and we have never seen that before."
Several shop owners contacted said the flooding may have been caused by the large storm water outlet near Clarks Beach being blocked by sand or tree roots.
Water also seeped into the carpet at Ray White Rental Centre in Byron Street during the night.
Byron Street is notorious for flooding often being the first street to go under during heavy downpours.
Office Manager Kerry Hilan said when she left work on Wednesday evening the water was already lapping at the step below the front door.
Water then seeped under the front door during the night soaking about a metre into the carpet.
"This time the water is very smelly and muddy. When I came in this morning it smelt just like Bluesfest after a big rain," said Ms Hilan.
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