In October, the western NSW town of Moree found itself facing a catastrophic flooding event, its second in 12 months.
CAPTION: From left, Aircraftman Haydn Mcgovern, Aircraftwoman Ellenah Wall, Sergeant Adam Thomas and Leading Aircraftman Frank Schinella help clean Duck Park in Moree, NSW, after the recent flood events. Story by Flight Lieutenant Rob Hodgson. Photo by Leading Aircraftman Samuel Miller.
As the town and surrounding communities were rapidly isolated by floodwaters, the ADF responded quickly to a request for assistance from the State Emergency Services.
Vehicles from the 41st and 1st/19th Royal NSW Regiment were some of the last to enter the town before the floodwaters made the roads impassable.
Once the floodwaters began to recede, small teams were tasked with performing rapid damage assessment to assist with recovery.
Once the road was deemed passable by Emergency Services, a team of about 50 Air Force personnel from numerous units entered the town to assist in the massive clean-up, with the Emergency Response Coordination Centre prioritising tasking.
The Mayor of Moree Plains Shire, Mark Johnson, said he was grateful for the assistance provided. He said he admired the calibre of the ADF personnel tasked with helping to get the town back on its feet.
“Speaking not only as a mayor, but as a local resident, I can’t articulate enough the difference the assistance has made,” Mayor Johnson said.
“This help in a time of need has made a great impact to people’s everyday lives and is helping us get bet back to reality.”
Leading Aircraftman Frank Schinella was part of a small detachment sent to a heavily impacted park and bridge crossing, requiring the removal of debris and waste.
“It’s a great feeling to help the people of Moree, to get amongst it and help these people get back on their feet,” Leading Aircraftman Schinella said.