Flooding on the Nerang-Murwillumbah Rd.
Flooding on the Nerang-Murwillumbah Rd.

Floodwater pushes out a human tide

COMMUNITIES across the Tweed Shire were preparing for evacuation yesterday as heavy rain pushed up water levels in the Tweed River.

By yesterday afternoon, authorities had already been forced to clear caravan parks at Chinderah, urging people to stay with friends or family or to an evacuation centre at Kingscliff, and were ordering evacuations at South Murwillumbah, Condong, Fingal Head, and Tumbulgum.

Last night residents in other parts of Murwillumbah and residents downstream of Clarrie Hall Dam, including people at Doon Doon, Uki, and down to Byangum Bridge were preparing for evacuation and had been told to prepare personal belongings and charge their mobile phones.

Another evacuation centre had been set up at Murwillumbah's St Joseph's Catholic Church hall to shelter residents forced to leave their homes overnight.

However, many Tweed towns were yesterday afternoon cut off by the rising flood waters - including some of those communities on evacuation alert.

As of yesterday afternoon, Murwillumbah, Tyalgum, Chillingham, Uki, Stokers Siding, Crabbes Creek, Numinbah, North Arm, Tumbulgum, Bilambil, Cudgera Creek and surrounding areas were all isolated by floodwaters.

Despite being surrounded by water, residents at Uki and Tyalgum residents were being asked to use as little water as possible with Tweed Shire Council warning the high water levels meant it was unable to keep water treatment plants for those areas going.

Jason and Ali McGrath spent last night in a tent with the family at Chinderah Lakes Caravan Park and woke up this morning to find they were floating on water.

Important numbers

The Public Information and Inquiry Centre can offer details for displaced families, road closures, welfare assistance and general enquiries for flooded areas: call 1800 227 228.

For emergency assistance call the SES on 132 500.

For life-threatening emergencies, call 000 immediately.

Forecasts can be found at http://www.bom.gov.au

Evacuation tips

Take your important documents, mementos and photos

Take spare clothes and medicine

If possible, check to see if your neighbours need help

Turn off the electricity and gas

Don't walk ride or drive through floodwater

Continue to listen to a local radio station for updates

For emergency assistance telephone the SES on 132500

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UPDATE: The rain is here and there is more to come

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