Counting the cost of a bad week
AS Dennis Orchard waded through the mud on Urunga's golf course yesterday, it was clear business remained anything but usual.
“We've been closed since Tuesday and three-quarters of the course is still unplayable,” the manager of the Urunga Golf and Sport Club said.
“We've managed to clear the mud off most of the tees, greens and three fairways but there is still a lot of debris and mud on the rest.
“We are hoping to get a few holes open for the weekend.”
To that end Mr Orchard and his team of helpers renewed their efforts shovelling the tonnes of mud left by this week's flood.
Rakes, brooms and shovels are a common sight all over the shire as people continue mopping up what was one of the biggest inundations in recent history. At Marina Crescent, just off the Pacific Highway north of Urunga, residents say the river peaked above the 2001 benchmark.
For Emma Sutton, her first flood experience was indeed memorable.
“The river just kept rising,” Ms Sutton said.
“We kept moving things up higher and higher - finding anywhere high and dry was almost impossible.”
Eventually they loaded their dogs into the canoe and floated up the road to stay with friends at Newry Island.
Three days and many hours on the gurney later, she and her husband, Mark, still have a huge load of topsoil covering their backyard.
Although still assessing the damage, Bellingen Shire Council's initial estimate stands at over $1 million.