Armidale's former Big W store is being converted into a donation centre to help flood victims.
While the premises has been empty since the department store closed at the beginning of last year, retirement home Newling Gardens will use it this week.
It has arranged with the Centro shopping centre to use the former Big W store to receive donated goods that they will then transport to Lismore and surrounding villages in the northern rivers this Saturday.
The shop front will be opened from 9am to 5pm, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week, Ray Chappell from Newling Gardens said.
"Besides the items urgently needed now, including plastic storage bins, torches, personal and grooming aids, work gloves, etc, we will also endeavour to take up any items specifically addressed to family members and friends who have been affected," Mr Chappell said.
"Those items will be left at the major evacuation centres."
The Taylor Street retirement village had started its own internal appeal before deciding to expand it to include the wider community.
It came after flood water climbed to a staggering 14.4m in Lismore, almost two metres above the highest on record there.
The city's entire CBD was inundated after days of unrelenting torrential rain. Shocking stories emerged of people spending up to eight hours on their roofs hoping for rescue.
It sparked an enormous rescue effort as emergency services were joined by locals in tinnies, helping to evacuate people in danger.
Four people died in the Lismore area, and about 2000 of 3500 homes that had been assessed in the Northern Rivers were no longer habitable. That number was expected to rise.
Australian Defence Force personnel and support measures are being deployed to affected areas.
Up to 80,000 people across NSW are subject to evacuation orders as the flood crisis continues to wreak havoc across the entire coast.
A low pressure system off the mid-north coast has brought torrential rain to the Hunter and Greater Sydney regions and is moving towards the south coast.
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