With 275mm (over 10 inches) in the rain gauge at Cape Byron on Friday, police staff and the SES have responded to numerous rescue calls since the event began on Thursday.
Incidents of drivers being trapped in vehicles attempting to drive on flooded roads kept emergency staff busy – A 29-year-old woman from California drove into a flooded causeway at Grays Lane, Tyagarah and her vehicle left the roadway and ended up in the creek on Friday, others were rescued at Tweed Heads and Banora Point on Saturday, and at Wooyung Road, Wooyung on Sunday, a 60-year-old man drove his Ford Territory against warnings and required rescuing.
‘You never know how deep the floodwaters are, the condition of the road or how fast the water is flowing’
Police are reminding drivers never drive, ride or walk through floodwaters. ‘It’s too dangerous,’ said a police rep. ‘You never know how deep the floodwaters are, the condition of the road or how fast the water is flowing.
’Keep clear of drains, creeks and causeways and if you are in a flood-prone area avoid parking vehicles in low-lying areas.’
Another rescue early in the event occurred after a family visiting Australia from Latvia set up camp at the Clarkes Beach Caravan Park on Thursday evening.
After heavy wind and rain during the night, the ground around the van began to shift which woke the family. At about 1.30am on Friday, a 53-year-old male left the van to check what was going on. He saw the car begin to slide away from him with the rest of his family inside. They were able to remove themselves without incident but did not have time to remove any of their personal belongings from inside.
The van has slid some about three metres and onto its side causing significant internal damage.
It was described as a small landslide not a sinkhole.
Due to dangerous situation the van was not removed from the landslip until Saturday where the family’s belongings, including passports, were recovered. ‘We were prepared for bush fires, sharks, crocodiles, spiders and snakes,’ said the man. ‘But not landslides.’