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A heroic flood rescuer made the horror discovery of a baby and its parents buried to their necks in mud as she searched for survivors of the devastating floods in northern NSW.

Lisa Parkes saved the life of the eight-month-old and its distraught parents after she followed the sounds of the baby’s cries and scrambled down a landslide at a property about 70km north of Lismore.

Ms Parkes was wrapping up a day of rescue efforts in the flood-hit Northern Rivers region when ‘her sixth sense told her’ not everyone was accounted for.

The contestant on TV series Ninja Warriors hiked through the bush towards a house where she roped herself to a tree and descended the landslide. 

Lisa Parkes (pictured) saved the life of the eight-month-old and its distraught parents after she followed the sounds of the baby's cries and scrambled down a landslide

Lisa Parkes (pictured) saved the life of the eight-month-old and its distraught parents after she followed the sounds of the baby's cries and scrambled down a landslide

Lisa Parkes (pictured) saved the life of the eight-month-old and its distraught parents after she followed the sounds of the baby’s cries and scrambled down a landslide

SES volunteers launch an inflatable rescue boat in the flood-hit town of Camden last week

SES volunteers launch an inflatable rescue boat in the flood-hit town of Camden last week

SES volunteers launch an inflatable rescue boat in the flood-hit town of Camden last week 

‘I could see a baby lying on top of the mud and about 30m or 50m away, the parents, the mum and dad, were buried almost neck deep in the mud and they had been there for more than 24 hours,’ Ms Parkes told The Saturday Paper

The rescuer said the baby attempted to roll over and caught mud in their mouth, falling unconscious as its helpless parents remained trapped.  

After frantically calling triple zero Ms Parkes began giving the baby life-saving CPR – all while still clinging to her rope. 

She then began to dig the parents out from the neck-deep mud. 

‘Apparently I was like a dog at the beach with the speed I was trying to dig those parents out. It must have been, for them, the most horrific thing ever having their child in front of them but not being able to hold on to them,’ she said. 

The Ninja Warrior contestant (pictured) gave the baby life-saving CPR while dangling from a rope down a landslide

The Ninja Warrior contestant (pictured) gave the baby life-saving CPR while dangling from a rope down a landslide

The Ninja Warrior contestant (pictured) gave the baby life-saving CPR while dangling from a rope down a landslide

Lisa Parkes saved the life of the eight-month-old and its distraught parents after she followed the sounds of the baby's cries and careened down a landslide (pictured, a woman in Windsor)

Lisa Parkes saved the life of the eight-month-old and its distraught parents after she followed the sounds of the baby's cries and careened down a landslide (pictured, a woman in Windsor)

Lisa Parkes saved the life of the eight-month-old and its distraught parents after she followed the sounds of the baby’s cries and careened down a landslide (pictured, a woman in Windsor)

The family were airlifted to the Queensland Children’s Hospital in Brisbane where they made a full recovery. 

Ms Parkes had been part of a team of professional rock climbers and hikes who marched through the Upper Main Arm Valley, about 25km northwest of Mullumbimby.

She spent the mission wading through muddy waist-deep where roads were replaced by flowing rivers.

Her hiking partner Andy Hamilton said the area resembled a ‘war zone’ after days of unprecedented rain caused flash-flooding and damaging landslides. 

Girls walk through the floodwaters in Lismore in northern NSW during a flood in 2017

Girls walk through the floodwaters in Lismore in northern NSW during a flood in 2017

Girls walk through the floodwaters in Lismore in northern NSW during a flood in 2017

Thousands of homes and properties were destroyed by the floods in Camden (pictured) after the area saw unprecedented rainfall causing flash-flooding

Thousands of homes and properties were destroyed by the floods in Camden (pictured) after the area saw unprecedented rainfall causing flash-flooding

Thousands of homes and properties were destroyed by the floods in Camden (pictured) after the area saw unprecedented rainfall causing flash-flooding  

She said it was just one of dozens of miraculous rescues being made across the state as communities in northern NSW attempt to recover from the floods.

In Lismore, residents are close to admitting defeat after suffering a record-breaking flood. 

Across the country, 22 people died in the floods and in Lismore entire homes, shops and businesses were completely submerged. Many were destroyed and some simply floated away.

‘It’s a war zone,’ town solicitor Sean Radburn admitted to Daily Mail Australia. ‘It looks like a bomb has gone off. It’s so heartbreaking.’

One business owner watched in horror as TV footage showed a home swept away by the raging floodwaters ram into his premises and demolish part of it. The house is now wedged into the roof of the property.

Even with forewarning of the coming nightmare, apparently fail-safe precautions by locals for a worst case scenario proved to be hopelessly insufficient.

Locals in areas such as Windsor (pictured) will now start the mammoth clean-up task

Locals in areas such as Windsor (pictured) will now start the mammoth clean-up task

Locals in areas such as Windsor (pictured) will now start the mammoth clean-up task

A container was seen floating in Camden after the area was smashed with days of heavy rain

A container was seen floating in Camden after the area was smashed with days of heavy rain

A container was seen floating in Camden after the area was smashed with days of heavy rain

Those who stored possessions, valuables and vital documents 5m high off the ground, as recommended by the SES, still lost it all when water levels swamped everything up to a staggering 7m.

After spending all they had to rebuild and recover from the 2017 floods, many locals now have nothing left in their reserves to do it all over again.

Resident Michelle Stone echoed many in the town of 28,000 by conceding: ‘This could be the end for us.

‘The town was already dead after 2017. It was just starting to come back to life. I’m wondering if it’s going to come back again.’

Some have already fled, she revealed, with one neighbour taking their family and moving to the coast after losing everything. She fully expects many more to follow.

Lismore lies on Wilsons River where it meets Leycester Creek, downstream of the Northern Rivers catchment – and when it pours, it can bring tragedy and disaster.

The danger from floods is so high, it’s virtually impossible to get insurance in the town. Quotes start at $18,000 a year for a small town-centre shop – and that doesn’t include contents.

Experts warn it's only going to get worse in years to come, throwing the very viability of the future of the town of Lismore into question (pictured, cars trapped in a Hungry Jacks carpark)

Experts warn it's only going to get worse in years to come, throwing the very viability of the future of the town of Lismore into question (pictured, cars trapped in a Hungry Jacks carpark)

Experts warn it’s only going to get worse in years to come, throwing the very viability of the future of the town of Lismore into question (pictured, cars trapped in a Hungry Jacks carpark)

Landslides have swallowed entire homes after days of consecutive rain saturated the ground

Landslides have swallowed entire homes after days of consecutive rain saturated the ground

Landslides have swallowed entire homes after days of consecutive rain saturated the ground

Lismore’s Rollerworld skating rink centre hasn’t had insurance for 20 years since it received a $30,000 quote for a premium in 2000.

Owner Craig Newby now faces an estimated $100,000 bill to get back on his feet once more – and he still hasn’t paid off the damage and repair costs from 2017.

‘It’s really hard,’ he said.

‘We would only have been out of debt from the last flood at the end of this year, so we haven’t been able to put any money aside for this one.’

Last week’s floods saw the water rise so high, it even swamped the mirrorball that hangs 10m high above the skating rink.

Experts warn it’s only going to get worse in years to come, throwing the very viability of the town’s future into question.

Climate scientist Professor Will Steffen warns nothing can stop global temperatures rising by 1.6C by 2050, regardless of any emission reduction programs.

‘That means we’ll be having considerably heavier rainfalls and more flooding,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.

‘For every degree of warming, the atmosphere can hold about seven per cent more water vapour which also becomes obviously more energetic.

Even seasoned Camden locals weren't prepared for the onslaught of rain that hit the region last week (pictured,  flooded argyle street)

Even seasoned Camden locals weren't prepared for the onslaught of rain that hit the region last week (pictured,  flooded argyle street)

Even seasoned Camden locals weren’t prepared for the onslaught of rain that hit the region last week (pictured,  flooded argyle street)

Initial insurance estimates have been put at a staggering $2.5billion, making these floods Australia's worst ever natural disaster (pictured, floods in Camden)

Initial insurance estimates have been put at a staggering $2.5billion, making these floods Australia's worst ever natural disaster (pictured, floods in Camden)

Initial insurance estimates have been put at a staggering $2.5billion, making these floods Australia’s worst ever natural disaster (pictured, floods in Camden)

‘Whenever you get the local conditions for rain, it’s going to come down heavier.’

He says the economic cost of continually rebuilding on a flood plain no longer makes sense – and the money should be invested in more permanent solutions.

‘It’s a very difficult thing because people are used to living where they’ve been living for a long time,’ he said.

‘But honestly, the situation is going to be really, really difficult – I’d say almost impossible – to keep living on these floodplains.’

Initial insurance estimates – for those who were insured – have been put at a staggering $2.5billion, making these floods Australia’s worst ever natural disaster. 

Source: DailyMail

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