Rain helps cheer the region

By STEPHANIE FORESTER

THE firefighters of Ocean Shores have been sweating on it, and the 'goddesses of South Golden Beach' have been dancing for it.

Finally, just as Byron Shire Council announced increased water restrictions for Mullumbimby, the rains came down.

At 126mm, Mullumbimby recorded one of the highest rainfalls in the State in the 24 hours to 9am yesterday morning, eclipsed by Tweed Heads, which recorded 131mm.

"I'm ecstatic," said Angelah Panuccio, of South Golden Beach.

"We've been doing rain rituals for ages now.

"It's wonderful to see the rain nurturing the Earth; she's been craving the touch of the waters on her body."

Angelah and her sister god- desses aren't the only ones pleased to see the rain.

The region's farmers, as well as those reliant on tank water, will be also celebrating, said Byron Shire Council's water director, Phil Warner.

Mr Warner said the levelfour water restrictions that kicked in yesterday morning would stay in place until he could be certain the water levels in Laverty's Gap Weir, which holds Mullumbimby's water supply, had stabilised.

"The water can rise quickly and drop just as quickly," he said. "The good news is the weir is overflowing again."

Rous Water general manager Paul Muldoon said he was 'optimistic' that water levels in Rocky Creek Dam would rise with the rain, keeping at bay the level-one water restrictions that would have kicked in over the next few weeks had the dry continued.

A Bureau of Meteorology spokeswoman said the rain was expected to hang around for the next few days.



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