Flood waters continue to inundate the Coffs Coast region.
Flood waters continue to inundate the Coffs Coast region. Coffs Coast Advocate

Oh no, heavy downpour continues

HEAVY rain left parts of the Coffs Coast under water and cut off on Tuesday evening, with flooding continuing well into Wednesday.

Some parts of Urunga and the Bellinger River remained cut off yesterday, although the eastern road into Bellingen opened late yesterday afternoon.

As the Coffs Coast Advocate went to press last night, the western approach remained closed with landfalls littering the Waterfall Way.

The township of Dorrigo remained calm, although stocks of some essentials were said to be in short supply.

See a slide show of the floods

The Bellinger River recorded 300mm and covered Lavenders Bridge, Orara River recorded 195mm, Coffs Harbour recorded up to 250mm in the three hours to 5pm Tuesday and Upper Orara reportedly received 225mm.

Although rainfall eased the level of Coffs Creek at the Grafton St Bridge the level rose to more than 5m, higher than the December 1991 flooding.

The SES reported that Hobarts Bridge at Thora was closed, isolating about 500 people upstream in the Darkwood area.

On the roads a woman was trapped when her 4WD was swept into floodwaters, as motorists across the Coffs Coast contended with swollen creeks, roads covered with water and mudslides.

Reports were coming thick and fast of multiple accidents as floodwaters rose ever higher.

Police were called to North Bonville Road following the report of a 4WD swept into floodwaters and stuck between two trees with a woman trapped inside.

The water reportedly rose while she was on the phone to police.

Emergency services personnel reportedly waded into the water to rescue her.

At the same time, a motorist ended up on the roof of his car after floodwaters rose higher than expected at Lindsays Road at Boambee.

About an hour later the man was reportedly rescued by a fire brigade truck.

Every hour saw fresh reports of flooding on the Pacific Highway, both north and south of Coffs Harbour.

As the rain continued to fall, local emergency services were predicting the flooding would be worse than it was 13 years ago.

SES Coffs Harbour spokesman Bill Roffey said volunteers have been run off their feet dealing with flooding, evacuations and road crashes since Tuesday afternoon.

“This is going to be bigger than 1996,” Mr Roffey said Tuesday afternoon.

“We've got 30 to 40 people in, every man and his dog and it's lucky the dog can swim.”

Mr Roffey said the phones had been 'going ballistic' and looked set to continue for much of the night.


FLOODING left Coffs Harbour Health Campus cut off on Tuesday, trapping hundreds of patients and staff and ruining medical records.

More than 500 people were caught at Coffs Harbour Health Campus when floodwaters rose about 4pm on Tuesday, including day patients, visitors and staff.

North Coast Area Health Service chief executive Chris Crawford said the only way in or out of the health campus was by 4WD, but patient safety was assured.

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