NSW SES COMMISSIONER VISITS NORTHERN RIVERS TO THANK VOLUNTEERS

03/01/2024 04:21 PM

NSW State Emergency Service (SES) personnel have worked constantly throughout Christmas and the New Year responding to extensive storms and flooding across much of the state.

Since 22 December, NSW SES members have responded to 2066 incidents, including 72 flood rescues, across the Northern Rivers, south coast, Illawarra, and Sydney. Severe storms and hail have also kept volunteers busy in the Hunter, Riverina, Central West and on the Central Coast.

NSW Member for Lismore and Parliamentary Secretary for Disaster Recovery Janelle Saffin, NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York APM, and Deputy Commissioner Debbie Platz APM today met with volunteers in the Northern Rivers to thank them for their operational response.

Severe weather delivered more than 300 millimetres of rain in some parts of the Northern Rivers over the New Year period, leading to both flash flooding and riverine flooding at the Wilsons, Richmond and Tweed Rivers.

While visiting Goonellabah and Murwillumbah on Wednesday, Commissioner York thanked NSW SES members who have given up their most precious commodity-time.

“This time of year is usually a special time for families and friends to come together over the Christmas and New Year period – but instead our members, without hesitation gave unwavering support through many days of floods and storms,” Commissioner York said.

“I thank them for their commitment to their communities.”

Commissioner York said damage and flood impact assessments in the north east of the state were likely to continue through the week.

“We’ve heard reports of damaged roads and a landslip, and of bridges being washed away. Our crews are working directly with the local councils and communities and remain available to assist with resupply to any isolated residents,” she said.

Minister for Emergency Services Jihad Dib said the Christmas and New Year period had been a busy time for volunteers who showed their commitment to communities across NSW and QLD.

“The last few weeks have shown how unpredictable the weather can be, with our emergency services ready to assist and giving up their time to help when people need it most,” Minister Dib said.

“NSW SES teams have been deployed across NSW and QLD as storms have travelled across the regions and I would like to say thank you to our volunteers who have been helping people impacted by these flooding events.”

NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Disaster Recovery and Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin, said it had been a testing time for local residents, many of whom were still recovering from the devastating flooding of 2022.

“This is a resilient community, and many residents know the conditions and are well prepared for flooding, but we also saw many flood rescues and incidents which required assistance from SES volunteers,” Ms Saffin said.

“We all owe a deal of thanks to those who gave up their time in aid of others, but the best way to repay them is by heeding their warnings and making safe and sensible decisions, like not driving through flood waters.

“As we embark on a new year, it is essential we all know our risks, have an emergency plan in place and follow the advice from our emergency services.”

Christmas New Year Flood rescues by day:
Christmas Eve – 24
Christmas Day – 6
Boxing Day – 7
New Years Eve – 3
New Years Day – 28
2 January 2024 - 1

For emergency help in floods and storms, call the NSW SES on 132 500. In life threatening situations, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

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