NATURE'S FURY: Four months of chaos for the Clarence
FROM drought to fires to floods (and a few severe storms peppered in between), the Clarence Valley region sure copped a beating from Mother Nature these past few months.
And from the beginning, our dedicated reporters have been out on the frontlines covering every event that unfolded.
Let's take a look back over some of the most memorable stories covered by your local news team.
When our patch of heaven turned into hell
When an horrific firestorm swept through Nymboida in November, 2019, it was a miracle no one was killed in the blaze. While homes were destroyed, the Clarence community were eager to know if the Camping and Canoe centre had survived. Within hours, our news team were able to confirm through a series of photos that the centre had indeed survived.
Stay tuned for a special feature on our bushfire coverage in the coming days.
Drought dries up Clarence milk
The closure of Big River Milk in December, 2019 was a stark reminder of the severe and dire conditions the region faced in what was the driest spring in more than 100 years for parts of the Clarence.
With mounting bills and ongoing drought conditions, Big River Milk operations manager Barry Paff made the difficult decision to close the business.
Then came water restrictions...
With no rain in sight and dam levels dropping dangerously low, Clarence Valley Council introduced Level 1 water restrictions for the first time since the opening of the Shannon Creek Dam in 2009.
And to add insult to injury, these water restrictions came in just as much of Australia braced for a heatwave that swept through the country
What's summer without a freak storm?
When the New Year rolled around the Clarence had been put on storm alert several times, most of which were false alarms. However, one afternoon in January, Despite being located outside the area issued a severe thunderstorm warning by the Bureau of Meteorology earlier that day, Grafton was hit by heavy rainfall and damaging winds about 5.30pm in a severe thunderstorm that ended just as abruptly half an hour later.
Tragically, our news team confirmed one fatality from the storm damage.
When it rains, it pours...
The heavens had finally opened up, but now the Clarence Valley had swung from bushfire alert to flood alert. In mid-February, the Wooli River broke its banks after the deluge of rain, cutting off the village completely.
Capturing floods from above
With the Clarence Valley copping a good soak, one resident took to the skies with some amazing photos via drone. Here's a quick video of it taking off over Rushforth Road.