Casino local Clarissa Lloyd bought her home near the Richmond River just shy of one year ago and everything was going well until flood waters inundated her split-level house on Monday 8 March.
CAPTION: Casino local Terry Lloyd with his youngest daughter stand in his daughter Clarisa’s backyard, with the Richmond River, which flooded the house, in the background. Story by Captain Annie Richardson. Photo by Corporal Sagi Biderman.
After spending a week with her colleagues clearing the lower floor of her home, she thought she’d survived the worst.
It wasn’t until her Dad and Rural Fire Service volunteer, Terry, came over to inspect the damage that she realised it was greater than initially imagined – Clarissa needed to completely gut the underside of her house.
“I thought it was just damage to my hardboards, windows and doors,” Ms Lloyd said.
“When Dad came in and saw the extent of the damage to my retaining wall, and the kind of structural work that needed to be done, he called in help.”
Within an hour of receiving the request, a group of 1st Combat Service Support Battalion (1CSSB) soldiers deployed to Casino as part of Operation Flood Assist 2022 were at Ms Lloyd’s house to help with the daunting and physically taxing task.
“I was hesitant to have a bunch of people I don’t know coming into my home to help clear it, but they’ve been really great about it and really considerate,” Ms Lloyd said.
“They’ve cleaned out all the dirt, bricks and the damaged retaining wall underneath the house, so we can do repairs and make it structurally sound again.”
Directing the 1CSSB team through the house was Clarissa’s spirited younger sister, who was keen to be involved after seeing Army helicopters flying over her own home.
“My little sister got such a kick out of having the team here today,” Clarissa said.
“Aside from humouring her, they’ve all worked together as a team and been so amazingly efficient.
“The other day a group came to my door, but I turned them to my elderly neighbours who needed help with clearing out their shed.
“Once they’d finished they continued down the street looking for other people to help.
“The entire community is so appreciative, it’s so nice to have the support.”