31 May, 2021

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, the East Coast of New South Wales experienced its wettest week ever in mid-March, 2021. The week-long heavy rainfall resulted in significant flooding near catchment areas, including areas of southern Queensland. In some areas on the Mid North-Coast, flooding reached record heights and the Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment had the greatest flooding in over 30 years.

The effect of the floods is still being felt in communities across the state. Even in late May, ADRA is still receiving requests from affected households who are only starting to realise the true damage of the flood waters. At this stage, 48* cash payments have been made to households across NSW, with additional clean up and recovery efforts still in motion.

Tara Bettridge and her two children were among the people that ADRA was able to assist thanks to your support. “We lost most of our belongings, which has been really difficult as it took a lot to get the things we lost,” Tara says. “And then for it all to be gone just like that is a little hard for me to accept.” The flood waters gushed through Tara’s house, rising as high as 400mm. Tara and her four year-old son and two year-old daughter were evacuated by an SES boat. Tara only had time to grab a handful of clothing for each child before being evacuated. As she spoke to an ADRA volunteer, she was wearing the clothes of the lady who was temporarily housing Tara’s family.

Tara’s belongings were damaged by the flood waters

“Thank you for your assistance at this time,” says Tara. “I will not forget just how kind you have been to us, I really am very grateful.”

Sadly, Tara is not alone in the loss she has experienced as a result of the flooding. Joseph Bella is a farmer near Richmond, NSW. He has crops across 50 acres of land, many of which were drowned in the floods. “We were flooded with water on our farm causing severe damage to our crops,” Joseph says. “The water couldn’t exit the property quickly enough, causing the vegetable crops to go underwater.”

What is left of Joseph’s crops after the flooding

Joseph’s radishes were rotten, eggplants were damaged, and his horseradish was unfit for sale. He was grateful for the financial assistance he received which will help cover the costs of the damaged crops.

ADRA ran a special appeal for the flood response and all the funds that were donated to the cause have now been spent to help people like Tara and Joseph. Thank you to everyone who donated to our flood response!

And, thanks to the generosity of partners like Good 360 and Big W, ADRA, through the Seventh-day Adventist Churches in Windsor and Warrimoo, was able to offer flood assistance through clothing, bedding and household item provisions. On May 12, Windsor Seventh-day Adventist Church opened their doors to people who had been affected by the floods. On offer were brand new donated goods from Good 360 and Big W to help families replace items that had been damaged in the floods. Altogether, 13 volunteers from Windsor and Warrimoo Churches came to assist the giveaway.

Volunteers at Windsor Seventh-day Adventist Church distributing goods to families affected by the floods

“This church is just really desiring to reach out into the community,” says Pr Chris Campos of Windsor Seventh-day Adventist Church. “When the floods came, we just wanted to help people in the community. So we were willing to be involved.”

Donated goods that were not claimed during the distribution have been donated to ADRA Community Care Centre in Blacktown.

*Number is accurate at the time of posting. This number may increase as we receive new assistance requests.

Tags:  Australia, Disaster,