TOURISM bodies are always looking for ways to get visitors to extend their stay on the Northern Rivers - but this is probably not what they had in mind.
A two-day visit by a Sydney couple to visit their son has turned into a two-week drama courtesy of one of our famous pot holes.
Jeff Gibbs and his wife Dale were returning from dinner in Nimbin on Monday night last week when they hit a massive pot hole on Nimbin Rd at Goolmangar, 30cm deep, that was caused by days of torrential rain and flooding.
"It was on me straight away; I didn't have time to react. It just appeared then bang," he said.
"The car was virtually uncontrollable, I hit it at about 70 km/h in the dark and then it kept pulling to the wrong side of the road.
"It was very scary, frightening in fact - we're lucky to be here and that's the main thing."
"I knew I had a flat straight away. I was following two cars limping along in a similar situation and we all pulled over together at the school. I had two flat tyres on the driver's side and the others had both front wheels buckled with flat tyres.
"One of them was a P-plate driver and she did very well to keep her car on the road."
The pot hole, which has since been filled , ruined both of Mr Gibbs' right-side wheels, tyres and shock absorbers as well as causing structural damage.
More than $3000 dollars of repairs later, Mr Gibbs is hoping his Holden Commodore will be ready today so he can return home tomorrow.
"The insurance will take care of it - though we let the mayor know through Facebook and she seemed genuinely concerned.
"People need to be really careful. I know council can't fix everything but that's the main concern - just be really careful."
Lismore City Council executive director, infrastructure services, Garry Hemsworth, reiterated council warnings to drive to prevailing conditions.
"Extreme weather events do have a big impact on our road network ... and we certainly hope that drivers are slowing down considerably during these times," he said.
"Council is aware that road damage will occur ... therefore we schedule road inspections during flood or weather events as a matter of course.
"However with a 1200km network to inspect, the additional information we receive from the community about road damage is highly valued ... council teams respond accordingly by either scheduling emergency works, erecting signs if the situation is dangerous. He added that the council did budget for such events and, following the declaration of a natural disaster by the State Government, more funds would be available for road repairs.
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