Flash flooding on Wyrallah Rd, East Lismore.
Flash flooding on Wyrallah Rd, East Lismore.

Storm surge returns to bite us on the bum, more on the way

THERE were chaotic scenes in Lismore yesterday as a huge downpour of rain caused flash flooding in the CBD, cutting off roads and causing shopkeepers to scramble to save stock.

More than 155mm of rain was dumped in a few short hours with the Browns Creek pumps struggling to cope with the deluge.

Lismore City Council urged people to avoid the Lismore CBD as flash-flooding impacted several areas.

Many residents of the Northern Rivers must have thought Tuesday's sunny weather had brought an end to this five-day storm surge, but it came back and bit everyone on the arse.

There was flash flooding around Woodlark St, Dawsons St and Brewster St and the oval area in front of Lismore Square shopping centre.

 

FLASH FLOOD: Just Ride Cycles co-owner Rachel Sipple carries a bike away from the flood water at her Wyrallah Rd, East Lismore store. Photo: Alison Paterson
FLASH FLOOD: Just Ride Cycles co-owner Rachel Sipple carries a bike away from the flood water at her Wyrallah Rd, East Lismore store. Photo: Alison Paterson

 

Wyrallah Road and the shopping centre there was inundated by a wall of water which sent shopkeepers into a frenzy of getting stock out or moving it to higher ground.

It was made much worse by drivers who ignored warning signs and ploughed through flooded roads sending waves of water into shops.

Just Ride Cycles owners Justin and Rachel Sipple called the drivers who ignored the signs "idiots".

"Their dumb behaviour causes damage to our shop," he said.

"Now will have move out all the floor stock."

 

The Browns Creek pump station struggled to cope.
The Browns Creek pump station struggled to cope.

 

Despite some concerns from residents the Browns Creek pumps were not working, leading to flash flooding in the CBD, the council explained: "Sometimes when we get really heavy downpours, the pumps can't always keep up and we see temporary flooding inside the levee around the Dawson/Uralba Street intersection."

The local SES were swamped with about 70 calls for help in a "chaotic" situation.

"We're responding to flash flooding, requests for help with sandbagging, that sort of thing," an SES spokesman said.

"We're working our way through it."

And the worse thing about this sustained storm event is that it is not over.

The Bureau of Meterology's forecast for tomorrow is much the same as it was for Wednesday.

High (80%) chance of showers, most likely in the morning and afternoon. The chance of a thunderstorm, possibly heavy. Winds north-easterly 15 to 25 km/h turning northerly 15 to 20 km/h in the late evening. Overnight temperatures falling to the low 20s with daytime temperatures reaching around 30.

Showers are expected to continue on Friday and Saturday as well, bringing no relief in sight.


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