FLOORED BY DAMAGE: A devastated Darren Watts surveys the damage after heavy rain carried water and mud into his home from bypass roadworks on Wardell Road, Alstonville.
FLOORED BY DAMAGE: A devastated Darren Watts surveys the damage after heavy rain carried water and mud into his home from bypass roadworks on Wardell Road, Alstonville. DAVID NIELSEN

Floodwater takes a muddy bypass

ALSTONVILLE resident Darren Watts went to bed early Monday night, ready to rise and commute to his job at Sunnybrand Chickens at Byron Bay.

But the sound of his son's voice at 1.30am aroused the single father from his slumber.

“I put my feet down on the carpet and was ankle deep in water and mud,” the distraught man said.

“I woke to find part of the Alstonville bypass in my house.”

With 160mm of rain landing on the plateau in just a few hours heavy run-off could be expected, but Mr Watts said the unexpected element was a pile of red soil and gravel immediately up the slope from his unit on the Wardell Road.

Virtually all that material landed in his home, saturating the carpet, soaking the plasterboard walls and splitting the skirting board.

While his home is insured, its contents are not, and this is where Mr Watts, a 'battler', becomes lost for words.

Thousands of dollars worth of personal items were ruined in the flood.

The vacuum cleaner resting in the living room was covered, as was his computer and his son's guitar amps and his other son's electric remote control car.

The self-confessed neat freak pointed out that he looks after his belongings with great care. He even cleans and polishes the engine bay in his four-wheel-drive.

“I keep everything schmick and now look! I'm in shock,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Reed Group of builders has put Mr Watts and his boys up in temporary accommodation while the mess gets sorted out.

But an RTA spokesman fell short of guaranteeing the mud-soaked resident would be adequately compensated.

“At this stage, it is not clear what caused the water to enter the units. However, RTA and the contractor, Reed Group, are investigating,” he said.



'Consider your fire plan': residents told to be prepared

'Consider your fire plan': residents told to be prepared

A total of 79 bush and grass fires burn across the state

Local Partners