Des Kelly, of Lismore, demonstrates just where he had to stand to save his life when his car was trapped in floodwaters along B
Des Kelly, of Lismore, demonstrates just where he had to stand to save his life when his car was trapped in floodwaters along B

A big loss, but he?s alive

By HANNAH ROSS

WHEN Des Kelly rang the SES early on Thursday morning to issue a warning about water across Bangalow Road near Lismore, he didn't expect he would be the 'goose' left standing on the roof of his submerged vehicle.

But events quickly overtook the Lismore man as he headed of to attend a week of business meetings in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast.

Mr Kelly said that in the pouring rain and darkness it looked as if the water was just a rain slick across the road.

But the water's depth became clear when he was suddenly slowed to 5km/h. He had already driven his Nissan Pathfinder too far into the flood to reverse or try to turn around.

"When I realised I was driving next to a submerged fence line, I knew I was in trouble," Mr Kelly said.

"I had no choice but to look for higher ground. Unfortunately I found lower ground first."

After ringing 000 and waiting half-an-hour to be rescued the water had risen to chest height ? the height of his windscreen ? and his electric car windows started to close of their own accord.

It was lucky he managed to force them open again because, when he tried to open his car doors, he found they had locked themselves.

"That was when I started to feel scared," he said.

"I was concerned about the car, but then I realised I had to worry more about myself," he said.

Mr Kelly is sad to have lost his beloved Takamini guitar and about $2000 worth of other gear, but is counting his blessings to still have his life.



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