Urunga goes under and counts the cost

URUNGA residents were once again assessing the damage of major flooding to their homes yesterday.

SES unit controller Merv Rose said Newry Island was one of the worst hit areas.

“The river rose so fast, even faster than in February - I've never seen anything like this before,” Mr Rose said.

“The river is certainly behaving very strangely.”

He said floodwaters of up to two metres poured into the town's CBD on Tuesday night flooding the Bowling Club and both the NSW Fire and Ambulance stations.

Three hundred and fifty people were evacuated to the Urunga Golf Club during the night.

Manager Dennis Orchard said many turned up soaking wet and with no dry clothes.

“We kept the hot coffee coming and both DOCS and the Red Cross cared for their other needs,” Mr Orchard said.

“There was no electricity so we were operating on an SES generator.

“Luckily our stoves and hot water run off gas.”

By Wednesday most people had found accommodation with either family or friends with 76 people taken to Coffs Harbour.

Mr Orchard said the club itself had suffered a huge hit, with the course a muddy mess and the loss of quite a lot of green-keeping equipment.

Businesses in the centre of town had power by 1pm yesterday but Country Energy's regional general manager, Andrew Latta, said access issues meant there were still 200 customers without electricity.

“There are still some properties and power lines underwater,” Mr Latta said.

“As soon as we can gain access and it is safe, power will be restored.”

Local beaches are reportedly littered with quite a lot of dead livestock.

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