Rain welcome, but is it enough?
By Charles Wood
IF YOU think it's been raining cats and dogs, you're right and wrong. It's been enough to make garden lovers jump for joy, but in most cases it's been more of an inconvenience than of substantial use.
Coastal areas have taken the brunt of downpours in the 24 hours up until 9am yesterday, with Byron Bay weighing in at 63 millimetres, Ballina 48 millimetres, but Lismore recorded only 14 millimetres.
In the catchment area falls have only boosted Rocky Creek Dam by 10mm, bringing its capacity to 62.6 per cent.
But the NRMA has been swamped with calls for assistance, mainly due to flat batteries from drivers leaving their lights on.
At Ballina Airport rain and low cloud forced Rex to cancel its morning service from Sydney. South-bound passengers were accommodated on Virgin's Sydney service later in the day, and the rain is also causing problems for the sugar cane industry.
This is the first year of the 'Green Harvest', where growers aren't permitted to burn their crops. The harvest and crush was due to begin on Monday and now it won't get under way until Thursday at the earliest.
The wet weather is putting a smile on some people's faces. Staff at El Gas in Lismore are selling twice as many gas heaters as they were a week ago and they've been forced to order additional stock to keep up with demand.
For Sharon Staples from Precious Plants in Lismore it's a godsend: "The plants are so much happier and healthier with rain water as opposed to tap water, it's given me time to catch up on bookwork."