When Tanya Slattery and her partner, Dion Whye, moved from Brisbane to Lismore six months ago, they were thrilled to set up their new home.
Having lived in caravans and minivans, the couple were relieved to move into a house in South Lismore near family.
Mr. Slattery was also eager to start working in the city as a plasterer.
“We had just bought a TV, new furniture… paid the deposit,” he said at 7:30 a.m.
But, on Tuesday evening, the couple were sheltering in an evacuation centre, spending the night on a thin foam mattress, listening to the roar of the wind and the rain beating down on the roof of a university hall.
Just four weeks ago, the couple was in a similar situation.
As floodwaters rushed through town, the couple raced to a friend’s house, packing what they could into a small car, and hoped for the best.
Their home and remaining possessions were destroyed but, after about four weeks of couch surfing, they decided to come back and start over.
“We started moving into our house, and the day we moved in there, the army knocked on our door at 7pm, telling us to evacuate,” Mr Whye said.
“We thought we’d be back to settle again the next day – we just thought it would be okay and it can’t happen [again]“said Ms. Slattery.
The couple are now reconsidering their decision to live in Lismore.
“There’s a lot of rebuilding to do,” Mr Whye said.
“I like living here, working here… but, with the height of the flood, I don’t see many places coming back from it.
“They are struggling to recover from the floods of 2017, let alone this one.”
“I hope it won’t be worse than that”
Weary residents of Lismore are struggling to stay optimistic amid the chaos of yet another natural disaster.
Four weeks ago, Brayden Love was one of many volunteers carrying out rescues in Lismore. Today he came out to rescue stranded animals and people.
“We’ve had our worst luck this season and hopefully it won’t get worse,” he said.
“As a community, we will take what we can and use what we have.
“All we need is help from the government and people speaking up and helping us – something has to be done.
“Obviously we can’t stay here like this if it’s going to keep happening.”
Watch this story at 7:30 p.m. tonight on ABC TV and ABC iview
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