Envirolink Consulting manager Leanne Bedwell cleans out the store in Casino after a flash flood on Monday.
Envirolink Consulting manager Leanne Bedwell cleans out the store in Casino after a flash flood on Monday. Marc Stapelberg

CLEAN UP: Avalanche of leaves, debris and water

A NUMBER of local businesses were caught in the surprise deluge that hit Casino with 125mm of rain on Monday afternoon.

Shop fronts on the corner of Centre and Barker Streets saw the most damage, as the roundabout became inundated with flood water.

Westlawn Finance coped the worst of it as CEO Geoff Scofield guessed there was about 2cm of water right through his entire office.

"The water couldn't get away in the gutters it backed up very quickly and went into our office," Mr Scofield said.

"The water levels on the roundabout were quite dangerous, the traffic going through it was making waves which were smashing up against our glass."

Managing Director of Casino Travel Shoppe Izaak du Plooy said he recalled feeling afraid when he saw the water level rising quickly.

"I called the SES because I realised there were a lot of blocked drains and water levels were getting higher at the back of our shop," Mr du Plooy said.

"It had come up about eight inches and was about to start flooding our entire store."

Mr du Plooy said the flooding in the back of his shop, that destroyed customer files and brochures, could of been avoided.

"There should have been a faster reaction, to get people out and see why the streets were flooding like they were because I think it could have been avoided," he said.

Manager of EnvironLink Leanne Bedwell didn't have a good start to the day yesterday when she found an "avalanche of leaves and debris" on the floor of her workplace.

"We don't open on a Monday so it was a bit of a shock (yesterday) morning," Ms Bedwell said.

Ms Bedwell said she will use the hair-dryer method in an attempt to save some of her resources.

"We are a bit old fashioned here and we've got to dry them out manually page by page," she said.

Narelle Oomen from Richmond Technology said this was not the official opening day she had in mind.

"We were baptised basically; the water came right into the front of the doors and we had to move all our stock down to the back so nothing would get damaged," Ms Oomen said.

She said the cars still using the roundabout were probably the cause of more problems for surrounding businesses.

"Lots of cars didn't seem to be slowing down for the conditions, trucks going through the roundabout that didn't seem to mind that it was really quite deep," Ms Oomen said.

Richmond Valley Council General Manager Vaughan McDonald said Police did close Centre Street, however business owners say it was after the damage was done.

Mr McDonald said he didn't believe mulch and debris were the main contributor to water level and blockage of the CBD's drains.

"It was a serious rain event, yes there is debris around those drains but I think in most cases our drainage system got to capacity," he said.


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