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Byron Shire
July 6, 2022

Flooding in Ballina this morning

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Ballina flooding
Flooding at north end of Martin Street, Ballina Island, 30 March 2022. Photo Ian Rinkin.

Parts of Ballina are underwater this morning as an intense low batters the region.

High tide was at 8.20am, worsening the situation, with much more water yet to reach the local area from the Richmond and Wilson Rivers.

Ballina Island resident Ian Rinkin has been photographing the local flooding this morning.

He told The Echo his neighbourhood up the north end of Martin Street remained dry during the floods at the start of March, but was underwater at high tide this morning. ‘Hopefully once the recent high tide starts ebbing out this localised flooding should drain away,’ said Mr Rinkin.

Ballina flooding
Flooding this morning at Ballina Island. Photo Ian Rinkin.

‘Perhaps this weather event is another case of “Beware the Ides of March”‘?

Significant event

Ballina Shire Mayor Sharon Cadwallader was close to the river when she spoke to The Echo this morning.

‘Flash flooding, as predicted, is happening. We’ve opened up the Evacuation Centre at the Lennox Head Cultural Center. So that is open for anybody who needs to go there.

‘Some people were evacuated overnight and went to family and friends.’

Are you expecting some relief as the tide drops, or is there a lot of water coming down the river as well? ‘There is,’ said Mayor Cadwallader. ‘ I’m just looking at it now. It certainly looks quite turbulent as it’s rushing through. It’s running very fast. Certainly the bar looks wild.

‘This is a significant event. There’s no getting away from it. We’ve got very high winds happening, and we’ve got drains backing up. Nothing major has happened yet, but all the pumps are overloaded. We’re asking people to use as little water as possible.’

What next?

With the flooding situation in Lismore worsening, downstream places including Ballina are likely to face further flooding.

Mayor Cadwallader’s advice to Ballina residents at the moment is, ‘Just stay indoors. If you don’t get have to go out, don’t go out. It’s best to stay indoors and stay safe.

Ute carries people through floodwaters
Flooding has returned to West Ballina. This image from 1 March 2022. Photo David Lowe.

‘Ring the 132 500 number for SES assistance. In an emergency, triple 0. We have got 430 ADF staff here assisting the SES if we need them in an extreme emergency.’

Have you got any word on West Ballina? ‘I have seen some some footage coming through. The streets are very heavily impacted with storm water.

‘Nobody will be stuck. They’ll be evacuated, if that call comes. We haven’t had an evacuation order for Ballina Island,’ said Mayor Cadwallader.

Stay tuned for more updates as the situation progresses.


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