Lismore damage bill 'in the millions'
By RACHEL AFFLICK
STATE Lismore MP Thomas George says the cost of the flood which swamped Lismore on the weekend will be in the millions.
The river peaked on Saturday night at 9.4 metres, just under the city's new flood levy.
North Lismore residents were the worst affected, with many homes cut off by water which threatened to breach their floorboards.
Mr George said while the extent of the damage would not be known for several days, it was clear many people were suffering.
He said some homes had not been repaired after the damaging hailstorm that ripped through Lismore last October. Their already damaged roofs had been unable to cope with this latest deluge.
"We are still trying to piece things together to see the damage done. There were certainly a lot of houses affected," Mr George said.
"We also don't know what crops have been lost and what cattle are lost."
While residents continue their clean-up today, Mr George will meet with NSW Premier Morris Iemma to request that Lismore, as well as the Richmond Valley and parts of the Byron Shire, be declared Natural Disaster areas.
"It would provide assistance to people who have been inundated by floodwaters," Mr George said.
The SES received 111 calls for assistance in Lismore during the flood, and several people were evacuated.
SES Regional Controller Scott Hanckel said most houses in North Lismore were impacted in some way by floodwater. "Water came up underneath houses in North Lismore, but as far as we know did not get into any houses," he said.
Lismore's Trinity College/St Mary's school site was swamped, leaving staff and students with a massive clean-up yesterday.
Deputy principal Val Thomas said several low-lying classrooms, three offices and the school hall were all under water. Yesterday, more than 40 people, including staff, students and ex-students, gathered at the school to assist with the clean-up, which will be finished well before school starts back on February 1.
"It is fortunate it is the holidays, otherwise it would disrupt classes," Ms Thomas said. "The lower classrooms were two-thirds submerged and in the hall the water was up to the windows."