Tuesday 20 March 2012
Heavy rainfall across eastern Australia has caused flooding that has threatened thousands of properties.
New South Wales
Communities are being flooded with more than 75 per cent of the state at risk of being impacted by flood waters. More than 8,000 people have been evacuated from their homes.
Red Cross has been involved in flood relief efforts assisting more than 4,500 people at evacuation centres across the state. Red Cross people have been helping to provide a safe place to stay at evacuation centres for flood affected residents in Wagga Wagga, Forbes, Cooma, Goulburn, Bega, the Hawkesbury Valley and Griffith. Griffith is the only evacuation centre still open.
Red Cross people are underway with recovery work in Wagga Wagga, providing practical advice and support for people affected by the floods to help them get back on their feet more quickly.
Red Cross staff and volunteers have also taken more than 8,000 calls at the New South Wales Public Information and Inquiry Centre in Sydney. People call to seek information about the floods and the assistance that is available to flood affected communities.
Red Cross is also assisting people to get in touch with family and friends affected by the floods in New South Wales through the National Registration and Inquiry System (NRIS) .
Australian Capital Territory
Red Cross is currently working with local authorities to review the needs of communities affected by the floods.
Heavy rainfall has caused flooding in a number of towns across the north of the State. Communities such as Nathalia are still at risk of being flooded, with some members of the community being evacuated.
Red Cross has been providing personal support, supplying food and registering evacuees at relief centres in Cobram, Numurkah and Shepparton.
Some communities in the greater Shepparton area are starting to clean up. Red Cross have visited 100 properties in the area checking to see how people are coping and providing them with useful information about cleaning up after the flood and looking after themselves. This work helps people know they're not alone in this sometimes long and tiring process.
In addition to responding to this current flood emergency, Red Cross is continuing to provide support to communities in southern Queensland and northern New South Wales who are still cleaning-up from last month's floods.
Cleaning up after floods can be a physically and emotionally demanding job and Red Cross encourages people to look after themselves. Recovery from an emergency can be long and difficult and Red Cross will continue to help communities through this time.
There is no specific appeal for the current flood situation in NSW, Vic and ACT.
Donations to Red Cross can be made to Disaster Relief and Recovery work. This supports the work that Red Cross Emergency Services does every day in Australia and wherever we are needed around the world. Your support ensures that Red Cross is able to respond as soon as an emergency occurs.
Red Cross is also assisting with the distribution of funds from the Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal to people impacted by the regional Queensland floods earlier in the year. Red Cross is encouraging individuals and families affected by these floods in Queensland to apply.
The Appeal application forms are available online or by calling Red Cross on 1800 901 933. Application forms are also available from Disaster Recovery Centres and Queensland Department of Communities offices in the flood-affected areas.
Be prepared - cope better
Storms and flash flooding can occur anytime, anywhere, as we often see.
Even if we think we might not be affected, we might be choosing to holiday in a bushfire- or cyclone-prone area, or we might have a family member or friend who lives in those areas.
You all probably know someone, a friend, neighbour or family member, who could need help during an emergency. Talk to them about their plans and see if there is anything you can do to help them.
There are four easy-to-follow steps to prepare.
Information about donating goods.
Media inquiries: James Molan on 0448 571 484.
Photos: Drivers remove debris from the flooded Monaro Highway near Cooma (AAP Image/Alan Porritt). Flooded streets in East Wagga (AAP Image/Robert Myers).