TOTALLY DESTROYED: The Bank St house belonging to Rebecca Darling and her daughter Amelia, 14 was the worst hit house during the storm.
TOTALLY DESTROYED: The Bank St house belonging to Rebecca Darling and her daughter Amelia, 14 was the worst hit house during the storm. Samantha Elley

Disaster assistance for Woodburn

IT took two days longer than Richmond Valley Mayor Ernie Bennett had hoped, but the State and Federal governments have finally announced they will provide disaster assitance to Woodburn, which was hammered by a violent storm at the weekend.

In a joint statement, Federal Attorney-General Nicola Roxon and NSW Police and Emergency Services Minister Michael Gallacher have announced disaster assitance would be made available to the Richmond Valley, Lismore, and Ballina council areas.

Ms Roxon said assistance is being provided through the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements, jointly funded by the Commonwealth and New South Wales Governments to the Local Government areas of Richmond Valley, Lismore and Ballina.

"This assistance will help families impacted by the storms get back on their feet faster," Ms Roxon said in the statement.

"On Saturday 17 November 2012, severe thunderstorms impacted a number of communities in northern New South Wales, with reports of strong winds up to 100km/h, heavy rain and small hail.

"The community of Woodburn in the Richmond Valley Council area was particularly impacted, with 14 buildings damaged. Other areas affected included Coraki, Evans Head, Broadwater, Wardell, Lismore, Casino and Ballina."

The NSW State Emergency Service received over 170 Requests for Assistance for the north east of the state, during these storms and in the days following. A large number of these were in the community of Woodburn.

"NSW SES units from outside of the affected area were mobilised to support local units, and the number of NSW SES volunteers involved in this operation is in excess of 100," Minister Gallacher said.

Volunteers, emergency service personnel and equipment from the Rural Fire Service, Fire and Rescue NSW, Local Councils, the NSW Police Force and Disaster Welfare Services organisations were also deployed in support of the NSW SES and affected households.

"Our disaster relief arrangements provide an important safety net to those affected," Mr Gallacher said in the statement.

"I would again like to thank the hard working volunteers of the NSW SES and our other emergency services, for their tireless efforts in providing both help and comfort to those suffering."

The NSW SES is urging residents to prepare themselves for future inclement weather by:

Moving vehicles undercover or away from trees and power lines

Securing or putting away loose items around the yard and balcony

Listening to local radio stations for updated information and advice

For emergency help in a storm call the NSW SES on 132 500

Call 000 in life-threatening situations



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