'We're disappointed': SES slams flood drivers
STATE Emergency Service crews were left baffled after pleas for motorists not to enter flood waters over the weekend were ignored, with near-death consequences for some.
SES performed 12 flood rescues across the Tweed-Richmond on Saturday as a deluge caused extensive flooding of low-lying areas across the North Coast.
Storms over New Italy closed the Pacific Highway from Ballina and Grafton for several hours, with some parts of the M1 and surrounding areas over 600ml deep.
"We were disappointed by the number of flood rescues required over the weekend," SES public information officer Ian Leckie said.
One family was lucky to have survived, after their car entered flood waters on Glencoe Rd, west of Tabbimoble, about 3.15pm on Saturday.
The mother, father and their four-year-old child were trapped inside their car in waist-deep water for 30 minutes while emergency crews, including a helicopter, frantically tried to locate them.
"They're extraordinarily lucky, it took us some time to find them, we had an air search up and a grid search, they're very fortunate people," Mr Leckie said.
"We always say if it's flooded forget it. We're saying now: do you still want to see you family again tomorrow? Think again before driving into flood waters," he said.
Woodburn copped 389ml from 2am to 1.30pm on Saturday with over 600mlof water over parts of the M1 Highway.
Following the deluge over the weekend, the Northern Rivers had high temperatures and thunderstorms yesterday.
Ballina CBD had tidal saltwater flooding due to high tide inundation yesterday, while the Cangai Gwydir Hwy at Cangai, west of Grafton, was closed due to fallen trees and a landslide.
NSW Department of Primary Industries cancelled shark helicopter surveys between Ballina and Tweed coasts today due to weather.
In total, SES completed 78 rescues and received 2,988 calls for assistance in NSW, since the start of last week.