Members of the Yass RFS and Sutton SES units aided in the clean-up along the New South Wales coast recently following the devastating flooding across several areas.
Southern Tablelands Zone Manager Peter Alley said 10 volunteers – three from Gundaroo, three from Sutton, two from Yass River, one from Back Creek and one from Bowning – returned from Lismore on Thursday, March 17.
Another seven volunteers – one from Goulburn, four from Windellama, one from Gunning and one from Yass – returned on Monday, March 21 after five days working to clear the area.
Peter said the flood clean-up effort is ongoing and will be for some time.
At this stage the RFS doesn’t have plans to send more Southern Tablelands volunteers north but more requests from the Incident Command Centre may be made if required.
“We’re not sure just what our involvement will be long term but obviously, as requests come through, we’ll supply people as required.”
Sutton SES Unit’s Deputy Commander Crystal Hemsworth said three SES volunteers aided in Nowra, Moruya and metro Hornsby areas.
The work with the Hornsby SES Unit, which is located north of Sydney, largely involved clearing roads and tree cutting. Crystal said SES volunteers often aided the community in several “tragic” tasks.
Volunteers in other areas aided in a variety of tasks from the removal of animal carcasses, patching roofs, to helping residents clear out their houses.
The Deputy Commander said volunteers also often provided community support and a “compassionate shoulder to lean on”.
“[The flood clean-up] is expected to last another month, mostly in the Lismore area,” Crystal said. “We do have requests come through quite regularly for out of area, in fact, our unit’s quite renowned for being able to send our members out of area.”
To help prepare for flood season clear your gutters and remember if it’s flooded, forget it.
By Brianna O’Rourke