DEVASTATED: Broadwater resident Michelle Walker never imagined flash flooding would wash right through the family’s caravans.
DEVASTATED: Broadwater resident Michelle Walker never imagined flash flooding would wash right through the family’s caravans. Jamie Brown

Flash floods make family homeless

WHEN the rain came tumbling down on Monday night it took just one hour to flush Michelle Walker and her family out of their temporary accommodation.

“We are officially homeless,” said the Broadwater resident, looking around at her saturated belongings.

“This is the irony of trying to get ahead in life by buying a property and building our house and now we're in this mess.

“This is the last situation I could have ever possibly imagined my family being in.”

The Walkers, who relocated from the NSW Central Coast, are preparing to build a home on recently-purchased land at the base of Cooks Hill, but Monday night's deluge dumped more than 250mm in just a few hours.

In fact, the local rain gauge overflowed at 10 inches on the old scale and the SES was called out to erect warning signs where water flowed freely over the Pacific Highway in front of the sugar mill and the local pub.

Now Mrs Walker has issues with the drainage system in that part of town, and she is not alone, with neighbours Peter Duffy and Bill Hardy backing her up.

“I have contacted council constantly on the drainage issue,” said Mr Hardy, who blames restrictions in flow where drains pass under laneways on their way to the Richmond River.

Mr Duffy said he had already spent $28,000 trying to make water move off his property to no avail.

For others the rare October storm came as a blessing, with cane farmers pleased their new crops got a watering, and rural firefighters thankful for a breather between flammable times.

But with rain very patchy over our district, soil moisture remains extremely low and fire authorities are not letting their guard down.

At Evans Head, which received 180mm, lightning was more of an issue when a bolt smashed a hole right in the chapel roof at Camp Koinonia.

The impact blasted apart roof tiles and guttering and cracked brickwork in the structure.

Camp manager Craig Dale was on the phone at the time and said his ears 'were still ringing'.

Read more...

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Check out an up-to-date weather forecast.

Got photos of the flooding. Share them at editorial@finda.com.au.



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