The Coffs Coast Advocate

Bombarded: Coffs a disaster zone

Man, 70, dies near vehicle

POLICE are yet to release the name of a 70-year-old man whose body was found near his abandoned vehicle in Raleigh on Friday.

The man's death occurred at the peak of the third flood to swamp Bellingen in three months.

About midnight on Friday, police were finally able to make their way to the Toyota Hilux that had been reported to emergency services earlier in the evening, but there had been no way to reach South Arm road due to the extent of the surging floodwaters in the area.

When they were finally able to reach the scene, the vehicle was submerged and the man's body was located nearby.

Investigations are being carried out into the circumstances surrounding the man's death and a post mortem will be conducted.

A report is being prepared for the coroner.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd joined NSW Emergency Services Minister Steve Whan in passing on his condolences to the man's family.

Grafton evacuees return home

GRAFTON evacuees began returning home yesterday with tht help of the SES. Medical and nursing home residents are expected to be repatriated today.

The SES organised buses to and from Coffs Harbour for residents in Grafton, although a spokesperson for the SES said some residents were reluctant to leave their homes as they didn't flood waters would get that high.

The SES spokesperson that the evacuation ran smooothly.

Some Grafton residents made their own way to Coffs Harbour, so an exact number of evacuees in Coffs Harbour is unknown, although it has been reported that the Evacuation centre in Gordon Street Coffs Harbour processed 200 evacuees. The Evacuation Centre was closed on Sunday.

Dorrigo dumped

OF all the Mid North Coast regions to have feel the effects of the dumping rain, Dorrigo appears to have been the hardest hit.

From Thursday to yesterday, a whopping 878mm of rain bucket the town.

Add last Tuesday and Wednesday to the tally and the water gauge topped 900mm in six days.

At the peak of the latest rainfall event on Friday, 449mm of rain fell accompanied by 74km/h winds in less than 24 hours.

"Dorrigo's fairly used to rain," Dorrigo SES team leader Chris Eburn said.

In Bellingen, the high water mark at Lavender's bridge was just 30 centimetres less than the devastating March 31 flood.

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