UPDATE: Lismore residents return to devastation
AS THE floodwaters finally left the streets of Lismore they were replaced by scenes of mud, piles of debris and damage and exhausted business owners.
The clean-up effort in Lismore had started despite dangers regarding electrical systems and building stability.
Lickiss Fabrications co-owner Sherilee Matthews said she was in town helping friends and family clean-up after cleaning up Lickiss Fabrications in South Lismore.
"The whole town is a disaster area - obviously," she said.
She said they were lucky enough to get all the stock out and were getting stuck into cleaning up the Mum 'n Me store in Lismore to help family out.
"Everybody needs to get down here and help Lismore recover not just now but in the future aswell," she said.
Keen on Green owner Kate Fernandes said they were getting ready to sell their store when it got washed away which was especially devastating.
"All under our house was also completely flooded," she said.
"I had to go wading through it to save pets which we lost a few of as well.
"At its shallowest it was thigh deep."
Brett Grainger, of South Lismore, they had lived in their house for fifty years.
"You just clean-up and keep going," Mr Grainger said.
He said they had boats wash up in their backyard.
"It was time to get up and get out, 'oh look there's a boat'," he said.
He said seventy years of memories were all damaged.
Lismore Soup Kitchen president Mieke Bell said their clean-up was going well but they were worried for those in their care as they would usually serve between seventy and ninety meals a day to marginalised people in Lismore.
"Clearly it is important for those people that we get our service up and running as soon as possible," she said.
She estimated that they could be closed for as long as a week, but that they would be making sandwiches for people.
She said donations of money at this time would be better than physical items but in a weeks' time items such as linens and blankets would be most welcome.
To donate: Call Mieke Bell on 0407789528