I just wanted to share my story to vent a little as most of the people around me are going through the same thing, so I haven’t really talked to anyone about it.

We were recently affected by the terrible floods in NSW. Our two-story house was almost completely under water. We lost almost everything.

On the 28th of Feb 2022, we were checking the forecast which said there may be minor flooding in our area. We weren’t sure whether we should be worried as we had only just bought our first home eleven months earlier. We decided to play it safe and had our family come and help use move things upstairs in case we got water downstairs. In previous floods, the water had only been about 1.3m downstairs of our house and as it is all brick and concrete downstairs, we weren’t too worried. Even in the worst-case scenario, we would just have to pressure clean our garage out.

At 5pm, the water covered our floor downstairs. We still hadn’t received an evacuation order. By 10pm the water was only 4 steps away from coming upstairs. My partner and I were trying to decide whether we should leave or not. We decided to stay a bit longer as we were tracking the water rise which was steadily rising one step every 30 minutes. We moved our cars up onto a hill at the local school near our house as it was the highest point in town. My partners 4wd made it up the hill but my small SUV could only get up a little bit.

Around 11:30pm when the water only had one step to go before it reached the second story, we decided that we should try to go. All night there had been neighbours with boats going past our house to the local school which was the only high ground in our town. Our amazing neighbours called out to us and asked if we needed to be rescued as they had a boat and were evacuating to the school.

We quickly packed a bag with a set of clothes each, some water bottles, dog food for our 2-year-old kelpie, our car keys and a couple of snacks as that is all that we could carry. We then climbed over the side of our balcony with our bag and dog into our neighbour’s boat.

Once we got to the school, we went to my partners car and sat in there until the morning. My car was already half under water down the bottom of the hill so we couldn’t sit in it. The school was not an official evacuation centre so for the first three days there was not much food, water of supplies. We later found out that there was about 600 people there and many had dogs, cats, and even guinea pigs. Many of the people that were there got evacuated to a nearby town in a boat but we decided to stay so we could keep an eye on our house as there were some people going around looting people’s houses and shops.

We were stuck at the school for an entire week as there was no access out of town. Everyone was bathing in the pool at the school as we were running out of water, which was ironic as we were literally surrounded by water.

The water took another 5 days to recced enough so we could access our house and even then, we had to walk through thigh deep water. We were so lucky that we had family and friends to come and help us strip our house and remove all our destroyed belongings as it was a mammoth task.

Less than a month after the first flood our home was flooded again. This time the water was only 1.3m downstairs which was what we expected the first flood to be. We washed out our downstairs area again and continued to try and make our house liveable.

I wanted to share this story to help other people that have gone through something similar, to not feel so alone. Even friends and family that weren’t impacted don’t really understand. It feels strange that the world just keeps moving when we have lost everything. But I feel so lucky that we are safe, unlike so many others.

We will be okay.

Posted by mom487643, 9th May 2022

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