DAYS OF FLOOD DRAMA
By STAFF REPORTERS
DISASTERrelief is on its way for thousands of northern NSW residents hit by the worst floods in more than 10 years.
NSW Premier Bob Carr arrived in Lismore yesterday to declare natural disaster zones for the city and the Byron, Tweed, Ballina, Richmond Valley and Kyogle local government areas.
Federal National Party Leader Mark Vaile also visited the flood-ravaged region to inspect damage first-hand.
The assistance arrived after two days of drama for the Northern Rivers region, with at least one life lost, at Byron Bay.
The waters peaked in Lismore at 10.2 metres soon after 10pm on Thursday, one month after a new 11-metre levee was completed.
Almost 3000 people across the city were evacuated. At the same time, more than 200 homes on the coastal strip between Byron Bay and the Queensland border were evacuated.
South Golden Beach, Ocean Shores, Billinudgel and New Brighton were the worst affected, with floodwaters rising to chest height in some areas.
Meanwhile, two men were hospitalised with hypothermia after trying to rescue six racehorses from drowning at the Lismore Racecourse. Two of the horses died.