URUNGA AND THE FLOODS

As is usual, the news bulletins lasted the duration of the crisis and then took their cameras off to newer fresher disasters leaving the DAMAGED to take care of themselves. Via my sister,  I have heard a little more. Difficult to imagine. One of the houses which has been condemned is nowhere near the sea or the river. 

floods-09This was no ordinary flood in Urunga…….80 cars were flooded and heaps of homes. Nearly all the shops had water through them… the museum, preschool and under Tambar Ct …. all the flats in Orara St … the whole of Newry Island was evacuated and heaps of homes had water through them… Julie and Steve had 7 ft of water through their house and it came from across the road. They said it happened so fast they felt lucky to have got out….they lost their car and the house has been condemned….there are heaps of people the same.

From S.P. 

floods-dorrigo-2Image from RTA of DORRIGO BELLINGEN ROAD. 

Bit hard to take in. My thoughts are with the Urunga and Bellingen people and even with Coffs Harbour, our traditional “enemies”. 

6 thoughts on “URUNGA AND THE FLOODS”

  1. Lynne, it’s a little while since I’ve been to Urunga. We used to go there a lot, especially when my grandfather owned the pilot house flats on the higher ground above the river.

    Urunga is a lot bigger now, so I have to get a map to check lay-out. Am I right in thinking that there has been a lot more building on lower ground?

  2. Hi Jim. We used to holiday at the Pilot House when it was known as New England and then I lived there in 2000. It now has a saltwater pool and an architect re-modelling following a brief period as a B&B under a German Friend, Erika.
    Urunga hasn’t actually grown very much at all and other than Newry Island none of the building has been on the low ground. (The Little Town that Time Forgot) . That’s part of the shock and devastation, I think. It was the main street and long established areas which flooded as well as some high ground above the railway station where my sister’s in-laws had 7 feet of water come down across the road(Pilot Street), resulting in loss of everything they owned inc cars and their home being condemned. There’s not a river or ocean in sight from there.
    I suspect that some of it might have been neglect of drains etc under the THERE WILL BE A DROUGHT FOREVER scheme of Council maintenance but perhaps it was simply too sudden and just too much rain. Coffs was also flooded in the Main Street.
    Our family home was sold only this year and I don’t know how it fared.
    Trust all is well with you. Yrs, Lynne.

  3. Hi Lynne. I had forgotten the name, but it was (I think) called the New England Flats. I am trying to remember when he sold it. c1960 I guess. I call it the pilot house because that was where the pilot was who took ships across the bar. Hence, I think, Pilot Street.

    My memory was so hazy that I spent some time on Google maps. It has changed more than you would think.

    I can imagine the shock at the size of the floods. The ordinary Google map I looked at does not show a river entrance. It’s all blocked. The satellite image does show the entrance, but there is a lot more shallow water. The river entrance was very narrow – we used to row across to the opposite bank – but it was still clear.

    I wonder if the flood was worse because of reduced access to the sea? And you may well be right about the impact of drought.

    Perhaps time for a nostalgia post! I hope the house sold well.

  4. Losing a car, my pride a joy, in these floodsAll comes back reading your blog. We lived in the flats directly opposite the river. What was worse, watching the rising flood enter the unit all in darkness, powerless for several days or the mournful mooing of drowning cows being swept downstream and out to sea?

    1. Yes indeed David. I was thinking of this year’s people and some of them will have no idea how deeply affected they are. I was teaching at Urunga months after the flood and the Kids were still jumpy and reactive.

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