WEATHER WRAP: What the hell just happened this week?

THE sun's out, the washing is on, as the clean-up and assessment of the damage is carried out, after a wild week of savage weather across the region.

Even though the sun is shining today there were still three locations on the Northern Rivers which recorded rainfall totals above 100mm in the past 24 hours.

Bilambil Heights (190mm), Boat Harbour (104mm) and Banora (103mm) all topped three figures in the previous 24 hours to 9am.

And there is more rain on the way, with a 40 per cent chance of rain today, most likely in the afternoon, with the chance of a thunderstorm.

There's also a 70 per cent chance of rain on Saturday and Sunday, so we are not out of the woods yet.

Dozens of roads across the Northern Rivers remain closed, either because they are still flooded or too damaged to reopen.

On Thursday, it was estimated the damage bill in Lismore and surrounds could be between $15 million and $20 million.

But there was a sense of relief from residents right across the region after a week of torrential rain, strong winds, king tides and flash flooding.


Lismore floods on December 16, 2020.
Lismore floods on December 16, 2020.


Staff of East Lismore Preshcool were especially grateful to the SES, who helped them out at the storm's peak.

They posted the following message on Lismore SES's Facebook page.

"Well in theme with 2020 the last day of preschool was eventful. A massive thanks to the Lismore SES, without you our families and children would have been very stuck and separated today. You stayed with us right until the end," the message stated.

"To the staff who stayed no matter what, thank you.

To the children who were brave and had a Christmas party regardless of the weather.

"To the parents who went to amazing lengths to get to us and help out."

There was great concern during the height of flash flooding in Lismore on Wednesday about the effectiveness of the Browns Creek pumps.

It's not that they weren't operating, it's just they couldn't cope with the deluge.

"The Browns Creek pumps can pump around 5mm of water per hour from the CBD back into the Wilsons River. Normally, this helps to keep the Lismore CBD dry while the levee is closed and water is pumped back out into the river system," a council spokesman explained.

"Today, we saw Lismore receive more than 46mm of rain in one hour - that's over nine times the volume of water these pumps can handle."

Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed on Thursday disaster relief funding will be available to the Northern Rivers.


PM visits Lismore to meet SES and get a briefing on the storm and flood damage on the Northern Rivers. Photo: Alison Paterson
PM visits Lismore to meet SES and get a briefing on the storm and flood damage on the Northern Rivers. Photo: Alison Paterson


Speaking at the opening of the Pacific Highway upgrade, Mr Morrison confirmed Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) had been activated for the area.

"We're working very closely obviously with the NSW Government but also the Queensland Government to ensure we are doing everything we can to support the people who have been impacted by these events," Mr Morrison said.

"The DRFA funding for northern NSW has been activated it's a partnership between the NSW and Federal Government."

The final repair bill, when its toted up by the councils on the Northern Rivers, could be somewhere in the vicinity of $100m.

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