The floods that swept through the Northern Rivers last week has left a trail of destruction. The river rose so quickly to water levels never seen before so there was no warning and no time for many to escape. Many endured rising floodwaters in their homes and businesses (up to the second storey in many) as the water swept through at a rapid rate.
Fortunately, the BBTC family was fine- all living on higher ground. Some living in the low-lying areas were lucky enough to access their rooves and could be rescued but many have lost their lives or houses, livestock, pets and belongings. Still, there are many that have been cut off due to landslides, collapsed bridges and they are still waiting for help! There has been no phone reception or internet for a week until today, and no water or power in many areas. The streets in the towns of Lismore, Mullumbimby and South Golden Beach are just piles and piles of rubbish- people have been left with nothing. It is like a war zone! The stories I have heard are harrowing and the sombre experience of being part of the clean-up will stay with me forever.
The Government assistance has been scarce and slow- it has been the community that has jumped in to help wherever they can to get this area cleaned up and to care for those in need. And that is one thing that we do have here and that is community- a tight-knit community that cares. I feel overwhelmed witnessing the courage, generosity, love and care that everyone has for each other here in the Northern Rivers. It was the one thing that drew me to this area all those years ago when I was fresh from Melbourne. The road that lies ahead is a long one for many. There is a lot of rebuilding, help and assistance that will be needed in the months ahead. If you are outside the area and cannot physically lend a hand, please consider donating to one of the below causes.