DIGGING IN: Coffs Harbour SES crew members prepared sandbags in anticipation for the weekend’s storms.
DIGGING IN: Coffs Harbour SES crew members prepared sandbags in anticipation for the weekend’s storms. Trevor Veale

SES in hot demand as storms batter coast

SES volunteers were called to 83 jobs over a 48-hour period as the Coffs Coast was battered by the weekend's heavy rainfall and strong winds.

Coffs Harbour SES local controller Bill Roffey said two of those call-outs were to flood rescues.

The incidents included the rescue of a car carrying four people after the driver attempted to drive through flood water in Orara Valley outside Coramba.

Despite repeated warnings not to drive in flood water, Mr Roffey said people were still unnecessarily risking their lives.

"Definitely don't drive through flood water - it's the major cause of death with any major storm or flood event," he said.

"It's so important for people who are driving on the roads (during storms) to drive with care."

Mr Roffey said most of the call-outs were storm-related and involved leaking roofs, tree damage and flood threats with possible inundation.

"We were definitely prepared for it, with volunteers assisting from Victoria, South Australia, other areas of NSW, and a task force from Fire and Rescue NSW," Mr Roffey said.

"There were a couple of hairy situations but generally it was handled well."

Coffs Harbour SES and helpers filled 7000 sandbags with 57 cubic metres of sand since Friday.

The clean-up from the storms was completed at 1.13pm on Sunday.

As of Monday, insurance companies had received about 7500 claims, with initial losses estimated at $26 million caused by heavy rain and inundation in south-east Queensland and northern New South Wales

During severe storm and flood events, people are encouraged to listen to their local radio station and phone the NSW SES on 13 25 500 if they need assistance.



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