Tweed devastated in wake of 2017 flood
LOOKING BACK: March, 2017
THE FLOOD of March 2017 will forever live in the memory of locals caught up in the catastrophic deluge of ex-tropical cyclone Debbie, which left a trail of destruction in its path and claimed the lives of six Tweed residents.
The record flood hit the shire on March 30 and 31, as Debbie hovered over the Tweed's upper catchment area, inundating the region with record rainfall, causing the Tweed River to peak at Uki at 12.91m (1.51m higher than the 1974 record) and 6.25m at Murwillumbah (0.21m above 1954 record).
Many residents suffered extensive damage to their properties during the floods, forcing some to leave their homes for long periods of time waiting for insurance claims and repairs to be completed.
The Department of Family and Community Services assisted almost 1300 people with accommodation in the aftermath of the flood, while data obtained from NSW Fire and Rescue estimated 2100 houses were flooded.
There were many people throughout the flood who risked their lives to protect friends and family but it was the SES, police and emergency services who really put their necks on the line to keep the community safe.
The SES worked tirelessly to ensure the safety of Tweed residents, assisting in the rescue of hundreds of people across the shire.
Three South Murwillumbah men were also recognised for their heroic efforts after they risked their lives to save 13 people trapped in Greenhills Caravan Park during the height of the flood.
The community’s residents also banded together to help with the recovery effort, organising everything from muddy town clean-up working bees to hot meals, fresh food, clean clothing and many a shoulder to cry on.
COMMUNITY IN ACTION: Tumbulgum residents come together to shovel thick river mud from their street after the March 2017 floods.