Families need boats to leave home as deluge of floods hits Sydney

Source: news.sky.com : 2022-07-05 13:39:00 :

The scale of the flooding crisis unfolding around Sydney is on another level.

Not only is the city being hit with almost non-stop rain, some suburbs have had multiple floods this year already.

It’s taking a toll on the community.

Barbara Mascoll has lived in the town of Windsor in Sydney for 35 years. Speaking to us on her front lawn, she said it’s hard to reach the shops because she needs a boat to get out.

Nicole Johnston Australia eyewitness pictures
Image:
Barbara Mascoll has been hit by the flooding

“I was up all night, I haven’t had any sleep yet so I’m still in my dressing gown,” she told us.

We saw a local charity delivering food to Ms Mascoll and her neighbours.

Every day they’re handing out hundreds of bags of supplies to flood-stricken families.

Nicole Johnston Australia eyewitness pictures

“We’re a resilient community but I think everybody’s a bit flood weary,” Linda Strickland, chief executive of Hawkesbury’s Helping Hands says.

“Right now it’s about saving lives and making sure people have food on their tables.”

That includes the wildlife too.

It’s not every day you see a kangaroo on a kayak being saved by a rescuer.

But Josh Robinson, founder of Crisis Animal Response & Evacuation (C.A.R.E) in New South Wales, and Harley Stewart have been taking their boat and kayak out to save farm animals, pets and wildlife stranded in the floods.

Nicole Johnston Australia eyewitness pictures
Image:
Josh Robinson (left) and Harley Stewart have been rescuing animals stranded in the floods
Nicole Johnston Australia eyewitness pictures

“We’re out every single day rescuing animals from situations because people have had to get out so quickly they’ve just left them behind,” he said.

In another area of Windsor some homeowners are staying put despite the floodwaters sweeping through the ground floor of their two-storey home.

Sarah Kennedy bought her riverfront property a year ago. Since then she’s experienced flood after flood.

The family also own a turf farm now entirely under water, costing the business more than £1m.

Nicole Johnston Australia eyewitness pictures

Despite the hardship Ms Kennedy says she wouldn’t live anywhere else – but admits the floods are nervewracking.

“It’s not a great feeling, you’re nervous it is going to come in. This is the first time it’s ever been in the house.”

The New South Wales (NSW) government has declared 23 regions as natural disaster zones, anticipating a long road back to normality.

Nicole Johnston Australia eyewitness pictures
Image:
Blacktown Council representative Moninder Singh

Read more:

Australia floods: Inside the flooded property of a NSW homeowner
Dozens rescued from Sydney floods overnight as 50,000 people face evacuation amid extreme weather

Blacktown Council representative Moninder Singh says his community is “shattered”.

“The highway is totally blocked. That means no one can come to the town, or go out,” he says. “There are no services available at this stage.”

Australia is regarded as a country on the frontline of the climate emergency.

You only have to drive 45 minutes from the centre of downtown Sydney to see this global crisis turn the lives of tens of thousands of people into a disaster.

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