Calls for natural disaster funds
AS the Coffs Coast counts the cost of the deluge and floodwaters recede, it appears there's more rain on the horizon this week.
Dire weather forecasts have emergency services braced for another possible round of inundations today, prompting local councils to call for urgent state government financial assistance.
Bellingen mayor Mark Troy said there will be significant damage to the shire's road network.
"We are really hopeful that we will see a natural disaster declaration out of this," Mr Troy said.
Coffs Harbour mayor Keith Rhoades said the city has escaped severe damage, partly because it had learned from previous floods with efficient sandbagging.
A spokesman for NSW emergency services minister Mike Gallacher said the government would wait for damage assessments to be completed, possibly today or tomorrow, before declaring any disaster zones.
State Emergency Service spokesman Phil Campbell said a monsoon weather pattern moved into northern NSW yesterday with the potential of some heavy rain this week.
"Then there's the potential for a third weather system to come through later in the week that may deliver some rain both to the inland and possibly coastal regions," Mr Campbell.
Swollen river systems began flooding communities between Taree and the Queensland border on Tuesday after days of heavy rain.
The SES said fewer than 2500 people were still isolated on Saturday afternoon - down from 12,000 on Friday evening.
There have been 54 rescues since the flooding began, the most recent of which occurred in Murwillumbah and Coffs Harbour.
One remarkable rescue happened on the Nymboida River.
A woman five-months pregnant and her partner activated an emergency beacon after they were trapped by floodwaters with minimal food in a riverside hut.
The couple's 4WD broke down and they had had been without food for two days.
Responding to the beacon, the Westpac Rescue Helicopter airlifted the couple and their dog to Grafton Base Hospital for medical treatment.