Residents Clean Up After Record Water Levels

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As the rivers hit their mid-day peaks in northern New South Wales communities in flood crisis, local residents begin to sift through their sodden possessions and assess the damage to their homes.

Two people have died and major flood warnings remained for rivers in NSW and Queensland, with rivers in some towns expected to peak later today.

Jamahl Winkler has the lowest house on Orion Street in Lismore.

Unable to insure his house for flood damage, Mr Winkler’s lost a lot in the floodwaters that have surged through the town in the aftermath of Cyclone Debbie.
“The front of the house had about 7 feet of water through it. The lounge room, the dining room, the bedroom and the kitchen are probably destroyed,” he said.

“We didn’t think we’d get this much water, but you can’t predict where it’s going to go.

“It’s just a matter of starting again. You’ve just got to pick yourself up and keep going.”

Jim Hedditch runs the general store at Billinudgel in Byron Shire, just south of Murwillumbah. He said he was planning to “get on with it”.

“There’s plenty of muck laying around, a lot of debris. If anyone’s found a couple of mop buckets I’d really like to have them back — they’ve floated away,” said Mr Hedditch, who runs the store at Billinudgel in Byron Shire.

“You lose things and you don’t realise you’ve lost them until you go to use them.

“We’ll be right again. I can’t say we’re going to rise up like a phoenix from the rubble but like a plucky little rooster we’ll pick ourselves up and dust off our feathers and get on with it again.”

Linda Harkin, who lives on Ballina Road in Lismore, said her house narrowly escaped the floodwaters.

“The water was one step away from going in as far as we know, so I was very lucky,” she said.

Her daughter was not so lucky.

“My daughter lives around the corner in a very low house and she’s lost everything,” she said.

“My daughter wasn’t insured. We’re just going to have to start again and start saving money.

“It’s really overwhelming and upsetting for a lot of people.

“There are other people out there worse off than what we are, we still have each other.”

The SES is advising residents to keep out of evacuated areas until the flood waters have receded.

Source: ABC News

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