Eden SES helps out rain-drenched Lismore

HELPING HANDS: Eden SES crew (back) James Knox, Darren Telford (middle) Janaya  Chalker, Lismore local Cheryl Patch, Pam Cocks, and (front) Bradley Chalker.

HELPING HANDS: Eden SES crew (back) James Knox, Darren Telford (middle) Janaya Chalker, Lismore local Cheryl Patch, Pam Cocks, and (front) Bradley Chalker.

Eden SES team members have been helping out in Lismore during heavy rainfall and threats of flooding this week, only 10 weeks after the town was devastated by record-breaking floods caused by Cyclone Debbie.

Team leader Pam Cocks

Team leader Pam Cocks

The five-person Eden crew – Pam Cocks, Darren Telford, James Knox, Bradley Chalker and Janaya Chalker – arrived in Lismore on Monday and with the situation now easing will head home today (Thursday).

Ms Cocks, who is the Eden SES unit’s assistant training coordinator, is the crew’s team leader while in Lismore 

The people of Lismore are really, really nice and so appreciative of our help - Pam Cocks

She said the Eden crew was part of a larger contingent which also included teams from Kiama and Shellharbour.

“We’re the furthest south team to help out,” she said.

The crew has been kept busy this week sandbagging, assisting with leaking roofs and undertaking flood water reconnaissance.

“We’ve done whatever has been required,” she said. 

There was still evidence of the devastation from the records floods that hit the town in late March and early April, she said.  

“They are a resilient bunch of people, as most people are in similar circumstances,” she said.

Work carried out by the visiting crews was vital, adding to the northern town’s flood-preparedness efforts and allowing local crews to have stand-down time, she said.

The exercise also provided “real life” training for crew members, in the event of flooding in the Eden region.   

Northern NSW has copped a bucketing with more than 300mm of rain falling in some parts of the region over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, including 357mm at near-by New Italy and 315mm at Yamba. 

The downpour triggered flood warnings from the Bureau of Meteorology for the Richmond and Wilsons Rivers at Lismore, Coraki and Bungawalbyn and the Brunswick River Valley at Billinudgel.

The BoM had feared more heavy rain in the Northern Rivers over coming days.

“It’s still very wet but the forecast and now eased and thankfully the river is not as high as it had been anticipated earlier this week,” Ms Cocks said.

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