Byron residents have woken up to find their northern New South Wales town underwater after Ballina Shire copped more than 200 millimetres of rain overnight.
Residents have labelled the situation a “disaster”, saying those evacuated to dry areas in the early hours of this morning have now been inundated.
BYRON BAY flooding after copping a drenching overnight. @nbnnews @9NewsSyd pic.twitter.com/Pz6rJCDFMx
— Gracie Richter (@GracieRichter) March 29, 2022
Others said they have been forced to rely on social media for updates in the fast-moving situation as information from the Bureau of Meteorology and State Emergency Service (SES) has been lagging.
Local Labor MP Justine Elliott has called for evacuation centres to be set up “urgently” in Ballina.
“I have contacted local disaster authorities advising them we urgently need evacuation centres in Byron Bay and Ballina,” she wrote on Twitter, urging those in danger to evacuate now.
“Apart from Lismore we also have received no SES warnings as of 5:30am.”
A major flood warning is also in effect in Lismore – residents are facing their second flooding crisis in weeks, with the levee about to breach.
Ms Elliott has also warned residents in the town that emergency sirens are malfunctioning.
“The Lismore levee is about to overtop,” she wrote.
“Sirens will not sound there is a malfunction. You must get out now.”
Police are currently cleaning up a landslide on Bangalow road near Byron Bay.
It’s the second time in two days the flood-weary community of Lismore has been ordered to move.
Speaking to Today this morning, Lismore Mayor Steve Krieg said it’s almost certain the CBD will be flooded again and was moments from evacuating himself.
“Everything’s falling apart in Lismore at the moment,” he told Today.
“I’m about to jump in my car and do the bolt (evacuate) myself because it’s less than a metre before the levee breaks.
“We’re estimating in the next half an hour to an hour that (water) will come over the levee and the Lismore CBD will be inundated again — second time in a month.”