Kyogle residents the 'forgotten' flood victims

Kyogle Local Government Area towns were inundated during the Northern NSW flood disaster last week.
Kyogle Local Government Area towns were inundated during the Northern NSW flood disaster last week. Contributed

KYOGLE residents affected by the floods are feeling like the forgotten ones over the lack of assistance they received following the events March 31.


Betty Luck owns two properties on Norton Street in Kyogle and said she lost around $22,000 in damages and loss of assets.

"It was just a friggen nightmare," Ms Luck said.

"I rang the SES on the Thursday night before the storm hit and they said it was only going to be about 15 metres, and I knew it doesn't go into the shed till 16 metres so I assumed everything was going to be alright."

The next morning Ms Luck was devastated to find out the water went up 17.39 metres, with 18 inches of water throughout her house and the shed filled with equipment for her business completely whipped out.

"My tenant lost everything, thousands of dollars' worth of belongings, including his car," she said.

"I am selling one of my rental properties, just to try and get some money back so I can fix up the other property over the road, and pay some of my debts."

Another Kyogle resident who didn't want to be named said he lost a lot of valuable equipment and assets during the flood.

"In the flood I lost cars, a caravan, lounge suite, fridge," he said.

"I lost all my tools in the carport because there was about a metre and a half of water in there.

"We lost a lot of photos, photos of our wedding and photos of the kids growing up, so that was a little hard to get over."

The resident and his wife were on holidays when the storm hit their home.

"We got home nine days after the flood. People from our church came in and made the house liveable for us and made sure we had beds to come back to," he said.

But it was a bit disheartening to see that where they lived prohibited them from getting any financial or clean-up assistance.

"We rang all the numbers for assistance but they just kept telling me Kyogle isn't classed as a disaster area," he said.

Ms Luck said she has been contacting all State and Federal members for the region trying to get some sort of assistance.

"I have been continually ringing up Kevin Hogan's office. His office is the only one who will talk to me," Ms Luck said.

"They suggested I ring Thomas George, but when I rang his office the ladies say 'we aren't dealing with that'.

"Because I actually live in Ocean Shores I have to go to Tamara Smith.

"So, I ring Tamara Smith's office and they say 'no, you've got to go through Thomas George or somebody over there'."

Six months down the track and Ms Luck is not optimistic she will ever receive any assistance.

"I spoke to friends in Sydney who said they donated money for the floods on the North Coast and I told them they didn't donate to Kyogle because Kyogle got nothing," Ms Luck said.

"They were donating assuming that it was going to be given to everybody up here that was affected."

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