WATCH: Big Rob gives tour of flood devastated boarding house
SOUTH Lismore boarding house Montrose House was severely exposed to the rush of floodwaters which engorged Leycester Creek on the night of Thursday March 30.
Backing on to a ninety degree bend of the snake-like Leycester about 500m before its junction with Wilsons Creek, the Union St property verges on what became one of the most dangerous and frightening highways of water during the historic flood.
In flood Leycester Creek holds about twice the volume of water as the Wilsons Creek, which it joins just behind the city centre. That's why flooding of the Leycester catchment is seen as a virtual pre-condition for the flooding of Lismore.
The manager of the boarding house, Big Rob, said once the floodwater breached the 10m high bank, they rose from ankle deep to waist deep in minutes.
"It was like a tidal surge," he said.
A shed at the rear of the property was destroyed, spewing out furniture on the ground. It's now considered too dangerous to enter.
A car parked on the property was swept up in the swirling water pushed through a fence, and dumped in the adjacent vacant block
The floodwaters then swept through the lower floors of the two storey timber house, wiping out several bedrooms used by tenants.
Some tenants were evacuated, but not all of the decided to leave on the night, confining several to a night spent holed up in the top floor.
Five of the boarding house's 12 rooms went underwater, and have since been completely gutted.
Work is now underway to clean and refurbish the flooded rooms so they can house tenants again.