[author]Story Chris Dobney Video documentary Sharon Shostak[/author]
As people begin to mop up in the aftermath of the worst floods the region has seen for several years, the prospect is that more rain may be on the way.
Heavy rain has hit the Tweed overnight although it is not expected to move much further south. Rain is expected to ease over the weekend. Levels of the Wilsons, Richmond and Tweed rivers all fell overnight.
David Chambers, incident controller at Richmond-Tweed SES, told Echonetdaily that all evacuation orders have been removed and people are safe to return to their properties, provided safe access is available.
‘The SES has people who have come from other regions to assist and should the weather turn again we are in a better position to respond as required,’ he said last night.
Minor flood warnings remain in place for the Tweed (current at Chinderah), Wilsons (current at Lismore) and Richmond rivers, with minor flooding expected at Woodburn, Coraki and Bungawalbin later this morning.
The Pacific Highway is closed south of Ballina with traffic diverted to Bruxner Highway and Summerland Way. One lane only is open at Corindi.
Tweed Valley Way at Tumbulgum still has water over the road and Bangalow Road is closed at Bexhill and Lagoon Grass.
The State Emergency Service has received more than 500 calls for assistance on the north coast since flooding started earlier in the week, mostly in the Tweed.
The SES has conducted 42 flood rescues in the region. Most involved people trapped in their cars by floodwater, including one at Lismore and one at Mullumbimby.
People seeking information about conditions in their area or who are trying to contact loved ones should use the specially established information and inquiry line by phoning 1800 227 228.
People seeking emergency assistance during a flood or storm should still call the NSW State Emergency Service on 132 500.
While a number of roads have reopened, many are still closed and police are urging caution on all roads, with the possibility of debris and damage due to the flooding.
For the latest information on major roads visit the live traffic website at http://livetraffic.rta.nsw.gov.au.
For local road flood information go to http://www.myroadinfo.com.au.