SES wins over wild weather event
A the rain started pouring, the calls for help came in, first by the dozen, then in the hundreds.
By the time the December weather event which flooded the Northern Rivers was over, the local State Emergency Service had attended numerous jobs, from leaking roofs, removing fallen trees across properties and roads, conducting flood rescues to helping evacuate a preschool and ensuring paramedics could reach those needing emergency medical resources.
SES Northern Rivers Deputy Zone Commander, Superintendent Mark Elm confirmed that in
Tweed Heads they received 262 requests for assistance and 252 in the Lismore area.
Supt Elm said he is extremely proud of all of his SES unit members who were out at all times of the say and night, in all kinds of heavy weather to help their community.
But he said he want to community to realise they also have a responsibility to stay safe.
“As I drove from Goonellabah into Lismore to provide situational awareness, I noticed numerous vehicles driving around council barriers into and through floodwaters,” he said.
“This puts the driver, any occupant and my volunteer members at significant risk of harm.”
Supt Elm said there is no excuse for getting driving, riding, walking or playing in flood water – and that the risks are immense and the results can be tragic.
“Our advice has been consistent in that if you do come across a flooded road, make the safe decision, there is always another way,” he said.
“It was clear that we listened to community concerns relating to flood advice.
We responded in a timely and accurate manner by communicating clearly to our communities throughout the Northern Rivers, and the public responded, by monitoring our NSW SES web page, following our social media profile and staying aware of the evolving situation.”
Supt Elm said the SES members in the Northern Zone are a sensational group of people and he’s immensely proud of their commitment.
“I want to thank the communities of the Northern Rivers, for their support of our volunteers and support staff,” he said.
“Our members are local people, with local knowledge, local networks, local jobs and professions and have a community spirit on serving and protecting their local communities with pride.
“It means a lot to each of our members, that their communities appreciate all they do when the chips are down, please don’t hesitate to approach our members and say thankyou”.