UPDATE: RFS, SES crews trapped by flooded roads
UPDATE: RFS and SES crews that were stranded on a flooded road south of Grafton overnight have returned to safety this afternoon.
Five members of the SES Yamba unit, one member of the SES Coutts Crossing unit and three members of RFS Coutts Crossing brigade were trapped on Geregarrow Rd last night after being called to a property isolated by flooding at Shannondale where a toddler was have breathing difficulties.
The trucks were able to get to the property but heavy rainfall meant when they turned around the road was flooded.
SES Clarence Valley Local Commander Sue Chapple said the nine crew members, who were expected to be winched from the area today, were able to drive back to safety this afternoon via a dry track around the Shannon Creek Dam.
Ms Chapple was glad for the happy ending and said due to the widespread severe weather increasing demand of helicopters the crews could have been waiting hours to be rescued.
She said all crew members are now safely home. Geregarrow Rd and several others in the area remain closed.
Ms Chapple said motorists should never drive through flood water.
EARLIER: EMERGENCY service crews stranded southwest of Grafton overnight after being called to a flood rescue may be winched to safety today.
In the early hours of this morning, SES and RFS crews were called to Shannondale where a two-year-old girl had breathing difficulties and flooding had isolated the property.
SES Clarence Valley Local Commander Sue Chapple said crews were unable to access the property and the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter was called in at first light to evacuate the girl and her mother.
The girl, in a stable condition, was airlifted to Lismore Base Hospital for further treatment.
Ms Chapple said the crews that attended the scene were left stranded between flooded roads after heavy rain blocked all routes back into Grafton.
She said the crews had spent the night at the vehicles and may need to be winched out by helicopter today.
This was one of five flood rescues in the Clarence last night, with crews kept busy saving people and animals.
Ms Chapple said there were two incidents of cars driving into flood water, one on the Pacific Highway and one on Rushford Rd.
"They're not getting the message. It's always worse at night, it's very dark and very hard for drivers to gauge the depth of the water," she said.
"We can't put road closures everywhere."
Ms Chapple said it was helpful is residents saw water over the road and alerted the SES or Live Traffic NSW. She urged residents to check the My Road Info website and app for the most up to date information.
Crews were also called to rescue stranded dogs, left unaccompanied in a paddock. Ms Chapple said there were 10 dogs and six puppies tied up in a vacant paddock that were rescued at about 1am by SES crews and the Department of Primary Industries.
As heavy rain is forecast to ease today, Ms Chapple said danger is far from over and told residents to prepare themselves for the week ahead.
"It's starting to dry up which will help the situation, but all the rain last night will create river rises and they will continue to rise. I dare say the Clarence will have a bit of rise now," she said.
"It may go to moderate flooding next week, so make sure supplies are ready, if you have medical requirements, stock up on those things before next week."