Floods leave residents high and wet

RIVERS were rising rapidly at Orara, Nambucca, Bellingen and Coffs Harbour yesterday, but so far no flood warnings have been issued for the Clarence.

Orara Way resident Brigid Flanagan was one of many left isolated on her property after the rising Orara River cut off access to Bluff Bridge yesterday morning.

“We're cut off from both sides,” she said. “We're unable even to get to Glenreagh.”

Ms Flanagan said she had supplies at the farm, but hoped the flooding would recede by Saturday as she was a bridesmaid in a wedding in Grafton.

Until then, she said being cut off from town was a “good excuse to do some housework”.

Fellow Orara Way resident Michelle King also remained upbeat yesterday, despite her business, Gumtree Retreat Day Spa, being cut off from Glenreagh and Nana Glen.

“The kids love it, they don't have to go to school,” she laughed.

At only 800 metres from Bluff Bridge, Ms King said she had been surprised by how quickly the water had risen in the morning after heavy falls on Monday night.

“At ten to seven it was a metre under (the bridge) and by the time we went back about an hour later it was a metre over,” she said.

Yesterday the weather bureau issued flood warnings for Bellinger, Nambucca, Coffs Harbour, Orara, Hastings Macleay and Manning Valleys.

The Orara River at Glenreagh was expected to peak near the major flood level of 10 metres at 9pm last night, while the Bellinger River exceeded its major flood level with waters more than eight metres high, isolating the town of Bellingen.

With the Orara River one of many waterways feeding into the Clarence and more heavy rain predicted on the North Coast until this morning, all eyes will be on the Clarence today to see how much it rises.

Yesterday a SES spokeswoman said there were no warnings current for the Clarence, and the SES had any call outs for assistance in the Clarence Valley.

More than 40mm fell in Grafton in the 24 hours to 9am yesterday, with totals over 200mm reported further south at Corindi and 240mm at Dorrigo.

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