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A wet welcome to the water-full way

'BLOODY wet'. That conclusion about yesterday's weather from Nambucca SES controller Barry Swan was echoed around the Coffs Coast.

Barry said the Nambucca SES had so far attended only one incident when the roof began to peel off a caravan at Nambucca's White Albatross Caravan Park and the residents had to be moved out to other accommodation.

Barry said many areas of the Nambucca Valley had recorded more than 100mm of rain with some quite intense winds at times.

He said SES members were keeping a careful eye on the North Arm and Taylors Arm tributaries of the Nambucca River, which were usually the first spots to cause flooding,

Urunga SES rescue officer Peter Butt said there had been many phone calls but no callouts but they were watching the Kalang and Bellinger rivers and were expecting to hear of some fallen trees, with roots now soaked with moisture after a prolonged dry period.

Bellingen SES unit controller Toby Cuthel said the Bellinger River had reached about 3.9m at Bellingen by 1.30pm yesterday, but was still below the level of Lavenders Bridge.

He said Darkwood Road residents were cut off by flooded creeks, but the Waterfall Way, which had been closed earlier with waterfalls over the road, had reopened by lunchtime.

But by 4.30pm yesterday heavy falls on the mountain had again closed the Waterfall Way and Bellingen Council had lowered the hand drails and was preparing to close Lavenders Bridge as the river continued to rise.

Traffic lights at the Marcia Street and Bray Street intersections with the Pacific Highway were out of action yesterday with police officers forced to direct traffic.

All beaches were closed yesterday and are expected to remain closed today.

Nana Glen Public School closed at noon yesterday to make sure all children got home safely.

Some other schools ordered buses early, including Upper Orara Public School, where the Orara River was lapping the bottom of the North Island Loop Bridge and bridges on Dairyville Road yesterday afternoon. Some Friday Creek and Upper Orara residents were isolated by flooded creeks and swollen rivers.



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