Byron Bay Flooding – Feb 7 2020
Radio News Reader: Byron Bay was hit by heavy flooding this weekend as rains drenched the north coast of NSW.
The rains were welcome after the fires late last year, the rain against the blackened backdrop in many parts of the state.
Sound of rain and water in backdrop
Radio News Reader: But local residents were taken by surprise by the flooding. In just 24 hours, the town received 280mm of rain.
Wearing a waterproof parka and standing ankle-deep in floodwater, one local resident said
Local Resident Audio: “This is worse than cyclone Debbie”.
Radio News Reader: Shopkeepers struggled to save their stock from waters up to 20cm high. Sitting in shop, business owner Frank Rollins said,
Frank Rollins audio: “We didn’t expect it to get so far into the shop”.
Radio News Reader: A NSW State Emergency Service (SES) spokesperson explained that the water was stormwater flooding, not riverine flooding. SES received 215 calls out since the rain started in Wednesday.
Jeremy Bennet Audio: “It was like a little island, surrounded by water.”
Radio News Reader: Said Jeremy Bennett, a local real estate agent standing outside his business at Byron Bay Property Sales. He’s lost computers, funiture and filing cabinets.
The Bureau of Meteorology’s Acting NSW State Manager Jane Golding said the lack of vegetation in some areas contributed to the build up and movement of water.
Jane Golding audio: “Debris may build up in the rivers and when it gets pushed along, that elevates the risk of flash flooding down the rivers.”
Radio New Reader: It is expected that the flooding will continue over the week. Residents are advised to take precautions, and to avoid driving in floodwaters.