INTO THE DARK: SES volunteers venture into the swollen waters of Leycester Creek to rescue a 58-year-old woman suffering heart
INTO THE DARK: SES volunteers venture into the swollen waters of Leycester Creek to rescue a 58-year-old woman suffering heart

FLOOD CRISIS

By SAMANTHA TURNBULL

EMERGENCY Service crews spent three hours last night rescuing a woman with heart problems from her flooded-in Leycester home.

The mission was one of 92 call-outs the State Emergency Service responded to yesterday as the Northern Rivers was swamped by floods.

The ambulance service received the call at 7pm to attend the 58-year-old woman's home 10km north-west of Lismore on Leycester Road.

Paramedics were met by SES and police rescue workers at the Leycester Creek bridge which was well below water, with the woman stranded in her home on the other side.

Fortunately, off-duty paramedic Michael Smith lived near the woman and went to her aid while SES volunteers figured out a plan to get across the bridge.

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter was unable to attend the scene because of wet weather and a strong current washing across the bridge made it impossible for crews to reach the woman by foot or four wheel drive.

A Rural Fire Service tanker from Tuncester was eventually called and arrived at the bridge about 9.30pm. The tanker, weighed down with tonnes of water, crossed the bridge with paramedic Rolan Murcott on board.

The woman was brought across the bridge by the tanker just before 10pm and transported to Lismore Base Hospital in a stable condition.

Meanwhile, SES Tweed/Richmond region controller Scott Hanckel is expecting calmer conditions today as less rain has been predicted. However, the Wilsons River in Lismore is expected to peak at 8m early this morning.

He said most of the call outs received yesterday were to homes in the Lismore area that were still damaged from last year's hail storm.

Mr Hanckel said this morning's focus would be on the Coraki and Bungawalbyn areas where more minor flooding was expected.



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