Normally, businesses in the holiday destination of Byron Bay would be ordering stock to accommodate the influx of tourists during the school holidays.

Yesterday, the town saw water inundate streets in the CBD at unprecedented levels.

A man and his dog walk through floodwater on March 30, 2022 in Byron Bay, Australia. Evacuation orders have been issued for towns across the NSW Northern Rivers region, with flash flooding expected as heavy rainfall continues. It is the second major flood event for the region this month. (Photo by Dan Peled/Getty Images)
A man and his dog walk through floodwater in Byron Bay yesterday. (Getty)

Floodwaters have since receded but businesses are left with a mammoth clean-up with equipment destroyed, stock ruined, and spirits waning.

“It’s probably one of the hardest days we’ve had in business, just the fact it was so out of our control, we were just standing, watching, helpless,” Sandra Vickers, who runs a local bakery, said.

Ms Vickers and her husband have owned a bakery in Byron Bay for the past 22 years.

Sandra Vickers owns a bakery in Byron Bay where the floodwaters destroyed the equipment.
Sandra Vickers owns a bakery in Byron Bay where the floodwaters destroyed the equipment. (9News)

The business has suffered through the pandemic but now with flooding, they’re exhausted.

“It hurts, just running a business in the last two years has been exhausting and now dealing with something like this is tough,” Ms Vickers said.

“It’s a mess, it’s going to take a lot of work to get it up and running again.”

News Agency owner Ron Delardes sweeps floodwater from his business on March 30, 2022 in Byron Bay, Australia. Evacuation orders have been issued for towns across the NSW Northern Rivers region, with flash flooding expected as heavy rainfall continues. It is the second major flood event for the region this month. (Photo by Dan Peled/Getty Images)
News Agency owner Ron Delardes sweeps floodwater from his business in Byron Bay. (Getty)

Ron Delardes, who owns a newsagency in Byron, said the flooding was a shock to him and other locals.

“We just didn’t believe it would happen, just so heavy,” he told 9News.

“Came too quickly… we never thought it would come in the back door so that was a surprise.”

Mr Delardes said it is a disaster, as all of his stock has been destroyed and the shop suffered serious damage.

Many businesses in Byron Bay will be closed while the clean up continues after the floods.
Many businesses in Byron Bay will be closed while the clean -up continues after the floods. (9News)

Business owners are now in clean-up mode, hoping to reopen before Easter which is usually a bumper tourism time.

“This is devastating… Easter so soon and many people coming to our beautiful region,” Justine Elliot, the Labor MP in Byron Bay, said.

March 30

Residents watch in horror as town is swallowed by floodwaters

Ms Vickers is unsure if the bakery will reopen in time for Easter due to the cost and scarcity of bakery equipment.

Other towns in the region, such as Lismore, have not been able to clean up yet due to water levels remaining high, so the extent of the damage is not yet known.

Source: 9News

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