Bellingen awash

DOUG Easterbrook was hunkered down watching TV around 2pm on Tuesday afternoon waiting for the rain to ease.

Out of nowhere a wave of water came through his front door, completely flooding his living room.

Stunned, he turned to check the back entrance, only to see water washing in through that entrance also.

“It was surreal, like something out of a Salvador Dali painting,” Mr Easterbrook said. Mr Easterbrook lives in a low-lying flat in North Bellingen's Hammond Street.

About an hour later around the corner in Wheatley Street volunteers at Community Radio 2BBB were busy trying to hold back water lapping at the doors when they noticed it was bubbling up through the floorboards.

“It happened so quickly - it was rising one house brick every three minutes,” Alice Moseby said.

“We had to turn off the power and wade out through knee-deep water.

“Until we left Graham was still broadcasting, standing with his feet in the water.”

Next door North Bellingen Medical Practice was awash with only the tops of chairs visible.

Power finally came back on in South Bellingen yesterday afternoon after a 22-hour blackout. The town remained completely isolated with the Waterfall Way closed to both the east and the west.

Urunga was one of the areas hardest hit in the shire with scores of evacuations. Bellingen Shire mayor, Mark Troy, said he had never experienced anything like the relentless storm that hung over the valley between 2pm and 10pm on Tuesday.

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