Damage will run into millions of dollars after this weekend’s wild weather forced many to flee their homes.
In Tweed Heads cars were abandoned on many streets when vehicles hit deep waters. Underground car parks were flooded and trees littered pathways and roads.
Hundreds of people were evacuated across the region as heavy rain and damaging winds from a low pressure system battered the state.Ocean Shore, Billinudgel, Lismore and Mullum were among the areas affected
Waters in Lismore peaked at 9.1 metres late on Sunday afternoon. More than 500 people were evacuated, and the Richmond River High School was flooded.
Byron’s contentious $1 million rock wall was devastated by the ferocious rough waters, sand covering the rocks was completely washed away, rocks torn away and the netting covering the rocks left hanging in tatters.
The sun returned on Sunday to help dry out some areas although waters were still rising in Lismore til the afternoon.
Emergency Services Minister David Elliott said the thousands of calls to the SES over the past two days highlighted the intensity of the weather system.
However he said that he was disappointed that the SES was forced to do so many flood rescues.
“You wouldn’t walk into a bushfire, so why would you drive into floodwaters?” Mr Elliott said.
“Please remember, when you put yourself in danger, you are then endangering the lives of emergency services workers, many of whom are volunteers and that is unacceptable.”