Tweed Heads Police come to the rescue of broekn down vehicles in flood water on Darlington Drive Banora Point.
Tweed Heads Police come to the rescue of broekn down vehicles in flood water on Darlington Drive Banora Point. SCOTT POWICK

Tweed residents share their flood stories

WITH floodwaters from the weekend’s extreme weather event receeding, stories are arising of Tweed residents’ experiences across Saturday and Sunday.

Residents in Fingal Heads and along Chinderah Bay Drive were advised to prepare for evacuation as storms battered the Tweed, with 360 mm of rain falling in a 30 hour period as water levels peaked at around 1.8 metres along the river front.

TWEED Ski Lodge Chinderah resident Jess Harris spent Saturday night fearing the worst for his home as flood waters continued to rise.

“There was water coming right up and under my door at around 8.30pm,” Mr Harris said, recalling the horror of waiting for his home to be engulfed as the Tweed River broke its banks.

“There was water up to other peoples beds, it was very serious.

Ski Lodge Chinderah resident Jess Harris was all smiles on Sunday morning after his home survived high tide floods on Saturday evening.
Ski Lodge Chinderah resident Jess Harris was all smiles on Sunday morning after his home survived high tide floods on Saturday evening. Daniel McKenzie

“I’ve lived in Chinderah for seven years and have seen my fair share of flooding, but (this time) it could have been scary.”

Luckily, waters peaked before receding into Sunday, sparing Mr Harris’ home.

Canadian backpacker Benji Moravec was en route to the Hare Krishna Farm Community at Eungalla when he found himself stranded on Tweed Valley Way on Sunday, after roads were closed.

“I was thinking the water may have receded by now,” Mr Moravec said.

Canadian backpacker Benji Moravec stranded on Tweed Valley way. Mr Moravec was trying to make it to the Krishna Farm past Murwillumbah after hitch-hiking from Brisbane on Sunday morning.
Canadian backpacker Benji Moravec stranded on Tweed Valley way. Mr Moravec was trying to make it to the Krishna Farm past Murwillumbah after hitch-hiking from Brisbane on Sunday morning. Daniel McKenzie

“I fly out (to Canada) Tuesday, so I need to get in now to see friends and say goodbye.”

At Fingal Head, Damon and Karen Young told of taking in residents fleeing their homes.

“We weren’t concerned up here, but the tide was pretty high and we heard that it was going through a garage at a lower-lying home,” Mr Young said.

Fingal couple Damon and Karen young hosted Fingal residents at their home on Saturday night, after residents of lower-lying properties left their homes in preparation for flooding.
Fingal couple Damon and Karen young hosted Fingal residents at their home on Saturday night, after residents of lower-lying properties left their homes in preparation for flooding. Daniel McKenzie

“The SES told people in low lying areas to evacuate, so we had people coming up and we had a little party.”

Fellow resident Josephine Nyga, who owns Sea Gypsy at Sheoak Shack said she was worried for her business.

Fingal resident Josephine Nyga, owner of Sea Gypsy at Sheoak Shack in Fingal Head, was relieved that her business survived flooding after waters rose to door level on Saturday night.
Fingal resident Josephine Nyga, owner of Sea Gypsy at Sheoak Shack in Fingal Head, was relieved that her business survived flooding after waters rose to door level on Saturday night. Daniel McKenzie

Mrs Nyga said water was rising to near the shop-front and threatening the business on Saturday night, before dropping off.

In Tumbulgum, resident Brett Andrews thought his Irving St home was going to go under on Saturday night, as flood waters rose and covered his back yard, threatening his home.

“Our backyard went under and three neighbours to our left went under, we were very lucky and could have been in a lot of trouble,” Mr Andrews said.

“Between 8pm and 9pm was when it started rising and between 9pm and 10pm, it came within a foot of the house and it got very hairy.”

Tumbulgum resident Brett Andrews inspects flood waters that came dangerously close to flooding his Irving St home on Saturday night.
Tumbulgum resident Brett Andrews inspects flood waters that came dangerously close to flooding his Irving St home on Saturday night. Daniel McKenzie

Mr Andrews said he’d received a text to prepare to evacuate as he watched helplessly as waters continued to rise.

He said that luckily, flood waters peaked, sparing his home.

The NSW State Emergency Service (SES), urged residents to prepare for flooding and reported over 463 requests for assistance across the Richmond Tweed region overnight on Saturday, including 58 flood rescues, as hundreds of cars were stranded across Tweed heads, Banora Point, Fingal, Chinderah, Tumbulgum, Murwillumbah and down to Pottsville.



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