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The tourist mecca of Byron Bay has woken up to the worst flooding locals have ever seen, with the holiday hotspot’s main strip inundated with water, as evacuation orders are issued for nearby towns.
There is no evacuation warning currently in place for Byron Bay but Lismore residents have again been ordered to leave their homes once again.
Flooding has also hit Ballina and the village of Mullumbimby where one resident said the area is ‘a disaster site’.
‘To my knowledge, no one in Byron or Ballina received any evacuation notices at all. They just woke up to flash flooding,’ Jacqui Lewis said.
Lismore’s Mayor has confirmed locals are turning to Facebook for information describing the flooding as ‘unprecedented’.
‘You can’t rely on the SES and the Bureau at the moment,’ Mayor Steve Krieg told Ben Fordham on 2GB.
Just after 9am on Wednesday morning local MP Justine Elliot announced the Lismore levee is about to overtop.
‘Sirens will not sound – there is a malfunction. You must get out now,’ Ms Elliot said.
Byron Bay main street on Wednesday morning was underwater (pictured)
Tourist mecca Byron Bay has been hit with ‘unprecedented’ flooding (pictured)
The SES said everyone in the Lismore CBD should leave immediately.
‘There will be inundation in Lismore CBD, Lismore basin and in low lying areas in east Lismore and Girards Hill.’
‘The water will be fast flowing and you must evacuate now before roads are cut and you are trapped.’
The Bureau of Meteorology said there could be further rises in the Wilsons River this afternoon.
‘Within the system there will be bands of very localised heavier rainfall which will also affect the catchment,’ senior meteorologist Neil Bennett said.
Ballina’s Mayor said it had been a ‘wild night’ of rain and that flash flooding had cut off roads in and out of the town.
‘It’s really not safe for people to go out. Everyone needs to stay put,’ Mayor Sharon Cadwallader said.
The region is in the midst of one of the wettest summers on record, with heavy rain leading to new worries Lismore is headed for inundation.
CBD residents along with those in surrounding Lismore Basin, East Lismore and Girards Hill have been urged to leave immediately.
An evacuation order has been issued for Lismore on Wednesday morning (pictured)
Nearby Ballina was also underwater on Wednesday morning (pictured)
Lismore on Wednesday morning (pictured) was again inundated by floodwaters weeks after record floods
A map showing the torrential rain hitting the areas of Lismore, Byron Bay, Ballina and Mullumbimby (pictured)
The Wilsons River which overflowed and submerged Lismore four weeks ago is set to burst again on Wednesday (pictured)
Streets across Byron Bay have been submerged after ‘relentless’ rain (pictured)
Byron Bay main street looked like a river with the rain showing no sign of easing (pictured)
‘Everything’s falling apart in Lismore at the moment,’ Lismore Mayor Steve Krieg told the Nine Network on Wednesday morning.
‘Our river is normally about eight metres lower … We’re estimating in about half an hour to an hour that’s going to come up over the levee and the Lismore CBD … will be inundated with water again.
‘So, second time in a month.’
‘I’m going to jump in my car and get to higher ground.’
The Wilsons River is expected to burst its levee, hitting major flood levels of 10.6m.
Outside the Great Northern Hotel in Byron Bay was a sea of water as residents woke on Wednesday (pictured)
Byron Bay town centre early on Wednesday morning was under a metre of water (pictured)
The worst could be yet to come with further river rises at Lismore still possible on Wednesday afternoon.
Byron, the owner of a petrol station in Murwillumbah said his business was flooded in the last catastrophic event in the Northern Rivers.
‘It came up to like two metres (high) in the shop and we’ve lost everything,’ he said.
The most recent floods had broken the business’ petrol pumps, ovens and fridges which had all since been replaced.
The evacuation order is the second for the city in 24 hours after an all clear was issued to return with caution on Tuesday afternoon.
Some six evacuation orders are in place across NSW for areas including the Lismore CBD, Lismore Basin, low lying areas of East Lismore, North Lismore and Girards Hill, Riverside Caravan Park Coraki, Tumbulgum, Low lying parts of Kyogle, parts of South Lismore and Bellinger River Tourist Park on the north coast.
A local shared this pictured of water at the level of car windshields and rushing up the steps to her home at 2am (pictured)
Flash flooding in the CBD as a result of heavy rainfall has inundated roads and an evacuation centre has again been set up at Southern Cross University.
Another bout of flooding could seriously affect those in the middle of a long clean-up from the recent flooding catastrophe, University of Sydney mental health professor James Bennett-Levy told AAP on Tuesday.
‘There is extreme distress because what it does is re-trigger and re-traumatise people who have already been severely traumatised.’
Dr Bennett-Levy, who directs the Centre for Rural Health in Lismore, said ‘very high levels’ of post-traumatic stress disorder are expected.
‘It is not just people directly affected, there is collective trauma because just about everyone in the community knows … multiple people … whose houses have been inundated,’ he said.
In a study conducted after the 2017 floods, Dr Bennett-Levy along with other researchers found 50 per cent of people displaced for more than six months in the same region had PTSD.
Source: Daily Mail