A swollen Wilson River.
A swollen Wilson River.

Staff pumped for flood action

LISMORE City Council workers were on full flood alert yesterday as residents waited for the Wilson River to peak at 7.58m about noon.

While falling short of the predicted 8.5m, more rain tonight could see the river begin to rise again.

At 10.30am, council staff was testing the last stormwater pump at the transit centre while the river hovered at just over 7m.

Water and waste water systems supervisor Matt Potter said following light rain overnight in the CBD basin there was relatively little stormwater behind the levy.

"We've got the Browns Creek pumps getting most of it," he said.

"We test the pumps every three months regardless but all's well today - we might even get to spend a bit of Australia Day with our families."

Staff from the council's parks and gardens department was removing the last pieces of equipment from the Laurie Allan Centre while staff from infrastructure services was sealing the levy gates.

Onlookers flocked to the riverbanks, making the job a little more like crowd control.

One staffer had worked back until 1am the night before waiting for people to remove their vehicles from the car park.

"People parking outside the levy gates need to realise we start closing most of them between 4-7m. There was a well advertised flood warning of over 8m but people still left their cars there," he said.

"I even went into Tommy's to try and find them but had to keep coming back to check all night and then had to stay in a motel, all because of one car - it all adds to ratepayers' expense."

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