Bellingen keeps a river watch

BY lunchtime yesterday things were looking brighter in Bellingen.

The Bellinger River had peaked in town and also at Thora and was falling from its high point of 8.2 metres. Even the sun made a brief appearance for the first time since Friday.

The town itself, however, remained isolated with floodwaters across the Waterfall Way, closing it to both the east and west. The Waterfall Way was expected to remain closed until today.

SES spokesman Phil Campbell said 24 people were evacuated from the Repton Riverside Tourist Park in the early hours of Tuesday morning, following high tides and floodwaters at Repton.

They were taken to Urunga.

“North Bellingen also remains isolated with Lavender's Bridge closed and we have been door-knocking at some of the low-lying properties,” Mr Campbell said.

“Darkwood residents are cut off from the outside world and probably won't be able to move until well into Wednesday, depending on the weather and the condition of bridges.”

He estimated about 4500 people had been isolated by the flood, including Bellingen's 3000 residents.

“We'll be keeping a careful watch over the Bellingen area over the next 24 hours, especially those areas where people are isolated for extended periods. In the case of emergencies we are able to reach people either by flood boat, high clearance 4WD or helicopter.

If anyone is in need of urgent supplies, especially medical, please contact the SES on 132 500.”

Yesterday afternoon all roads to and from Bellingen remained closed and a landslip below Newell Falls closed the Dorrigo Mountain Road overnight.

If you are travelling please check road conditions first, phone Bellingen Shire Council on 6655 7300.



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