Thrill-seeker: Kayaker Guy Baker, of Mullumbimby, yesterday took advantage of the swollen Wilsons Creek after heavy rain on Monday.
Thrill-seeker: Kayaker Guy Baker, of Mullumbimby, yesterday took advantage of the swollen Wilsons Creek after heavy rain on Monday. Jay Cronan

Kayaker plunges into floodwaters

FORMER professional kayak adventurer and film-maker Guy Baker, from Mullumbimby, would be one of the few who relished the recent flash flooding around the Byron Shire.

Mr Baker has traversed some of the world’s most treacherous rapids and spent Monday coaching a friend on the finer points of extreme kayaking, launching from the head of Wilsons Creek and travelling 17km downstream.

“I definitely wouldn’t recommend it for the inexperienced,” he said. “It’s way more dangerous than it looks.

“We use all the right safety gear and our boats are designed to bounce off the rocks.”

While the Kyogle and Richmond Valley council areas reported minimal damage, Lismore, Ballina and Byron councils have begun assessing road damage following Sunday night’s deluge.

Most affected roads were re-opened yesterday, though council engineers advised extreme caution with water still on some roads and plenty of new potholes appearing.

With the weather system shifting south, only minimal rainfall was recorded yesterday in the Ballina, Byron and Tweed areas.

Even with the saturated conditions, the chance of further flooding is now slim, with the Bureau of Meteorology only forecasting showers across the region for the next seven days, with possible thunderstorms tomorrow.

Meanwhile, 24 motorists were caught drink-driving and 437 were caught speeding across the northern region during the long weekend’s Operation Slowdown.

Northern Region Traffic Co-ordinator, Acting Senior Sergeant Glenn Trubody, described the results as ‘ridiculous’ given the holiday traffic and weather conditions, warning the high-profile policing would continuing for the rest of the school holiday period.



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