For the first time ever, NSW is calling for support from the international community to help battle the floods raging across the central parts of the state.
As the state’s Minister for Emergency Services, Steph Cooke, said: “We will now turn our attention to reaching out internationally and seeing what support we can ask for from other countries who aren’t in the prolonged flooding event that we’re experiencing.”
“We have a history of doing so in relation to bushfires, we’ve never had to do it before for floods.”
NSW is asking for this support because the current flood crisis that it’s experiencing is completely cooked. In the Central West, 100mm of rain fell in just a few hours. This resulted in the Wyangala Dam overflowing, with a record amount of water destroying towns and infrastructure alike.
As of 1:50pm on November 15, there were 120 flood warnings. Twenty-four of these announcements were emergency ones.
Fortunately, New Zealand has heeded NSW’s call for help. A total of twenty-four New Zealanders have been organised to come to Australia and then go to NSW inland. Moreover, the first batch of 12 folks has already arrived in NSW.
“Australia and New Zealand have a long history of helping each other out in times of need, and this is our time of need,” said Cooke.
“The flooding we continue to experience has been unprecedented and requires an unprecedented level of support, which is why we’re calling upon international flood rescue crews for the first time. This will ensure our own volunteers and staff can have appropriate downtime and pace themselves for the flood operations, which we expect will continue for several more months across regional, rural, and remote communities.”
Meanwhile, the State Emergency Service’s (SES) Commissioner, Carlene York, is also thankful for this help.
She said, “We still have many months of flood response to go, and other States across the country face the risk of cyclones as we head into summer. This means we have exhausted all national resources and now need to call upon international support.”