Lismore City News
Saturday, 2 December 2023

Two floods n the space of a month have devastated Lismore and surrounding areas of the Northern Rivers

David Kirkpatrick
Updated March 29 2022 - 2:42pm, first published 1:13pm

Two floods in the space of a month, which have both prompted mass evacuations, have pitched Lismore and surrounds into uncharted territory as far as disaster management goes.

The February 28 floods were described as diabolical and unprecedented, and the weather gods decided to prey upon Lismore once again this week.

It has re-traumatised an already traumatised community and been a significant setback to the region's fledgling recovery efforts.

It is a cruel blow for a community desperately trying to recover from a record flooding event.

Fortunately, Lismore was better prepared second time around with thousands of people already living away from their flood prone homes and plenty of ADF and other emergency personnel on the ground.

The owners of Two Mates Brewing in South Lismore were forced to pack up for the second time in a month under threat of major flooding.

Grant Smith, who owns the business with Andrew Newton and their families, said it was like "groundhog day".

"It's a bit overwhelming. We haven't had the chance to process the last four weeks yet. This just puts on extra pressure, emotionally and financially."

Like many businesses in the city, they were pushing hard to reopen quickly.

"The continued weather and continued flood makes it a little bit harder for people," he said.

The crazy weather bombs that have dropped a tonne of rain on the region are not easily explained.

Floods at the end of February were caused mostly by a single, extended rainfall event, while 2017 flooding occurred after ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie moved south, dropping heavy rain.

Bureau of Meteorology duty meteorologist Helen Reid said there were a number of factors to consider.

"This year we haven't had tropical cyclones on the Queensland coast, instead we've had these broader features and troughs moving a little bit further south," she said.

"It's still been able to bring all the moisture in from the tropics with it and it comes far enough along to interact in the upper atmosphere with what comes from further south.

"That combination is enhanced by what's happening in the upper atmosphere and that just seems to be the pattern for this season."

David Kirkpatrick

I'm a media professional with over 34 years of experience in public relations and journalism, including a decade setting Lismore's news agenda as the editor of The Northern Star. I have proven track record in growing audiences and improving engagement by delivering quality local stories for and about the Lismore community.