Family stranded in empty home

By RACHEL AFFLICK

SHANNON and Stephanie George saw all their furniture leave on a removal truck to Brisbane before flood waters closed in on their Upper Wilsons Creek home, stranding them.

The Georges, along with their baby daughter Maya, 16 months, were in the process of moving to Queensland on New Years Eve when the rain began to fall.

"The removalists rang and said they were able to get through but the truck was actually moving sideways as it crossed the crossing," Stephanie said.

"By the time we wanted to leave it was too late."

Since Monday they've been stuck in an empty house with no beds, no fridge and very little food.

They've been sleeping on the floor on blankets, with Maya on a baby couch, and the only things left in their bare living room are a television and heater.

The worst part of it is they have no way of knowing when the water will go down enough to allow their vehicle though.

"Shannon starts a new job on Monday, near Toowoomba. We don't know what's going to happen," Stephanie said.

"We keep expecting the creek to go down but then it starts raining again. It seems to be getting heavier.

"To get out, we need to pass four crossings. At least one of them is knee-high."

The family ran out of baby formula on Wednesday and, with no hope of getting the car over the crossings, Stephanie walked 1.5 kilometres to the local shop, where she was able to top up on supplies.

But by yesterday morning Stephanie said even walking out would have been impossible.

Stephanie, who has lived at Wilsons Creek since 2000, said flooding was a regular part of life.

But because they were moving, and without supplies, it was particularly problematic this time.

"We were saying if we actually still had a fridge and weren't moving it would be fine," Stephanie said.

"We already chucked out everything in the fridge".

Yesterday morning Wilsons Creek received 75 millimetres of rain, according to local rain gauge readers.

It is not the only spot in the Byron Shire that copped a soaking.

Byron Shire Council yesterday used an excavator to open up Belongil Creek amid fears the rising creek could flood the township of Byron Bay.

Byron Shire Council's Acting Director of Asset Management Services Michael King said so far the rainfall had been regular, but not heavy enough to cause significant problems.

But if a big storm were to come in, the town could be in strife.

"We are continuing to monitor the situation closely," Mr King said.

The council had been dealing with a few fallen trees and branches over roads, but as of yesterday no major roads had flooded.



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