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East coast smashed by storms: Red Cross responds

A huge storm smashed 3000km of the east coast this weekend forcing hundreds of people to evacuate their homes. Red Cross volunteers were busy helping those caught up and are now ready to respond as the storm moves on to Tasmania and Victoria.

Monday June 6, 2016

East coast storm damage to Collaroy beach club in News South Wales. Photo: ABC News
East coast storm damage to Collaroy beach club in News South Wales. Photo: ABC News

Over the weekend, an east coast low brought severe storms to communities from the south of  Queensland to Tasmania. For the first time in over 30 years, the whole of the New South Wales coast was placed under a severe weather warning and flood watch.

Flooding in parts of region forced hundreds of residents to leave their homes over the weekend. They fled to centres in Lismore, Liverpool, Pittwater, Cromer, Revesby and Cabramatta.

"Red Cross volunteers were in place at evacuation centres across the region," says Melissa Morgan from Australian Red Cross' emergency services. "Evacuating your house can be a traumatic experience and our volunteers were there to give people support when they need it.

"The weather conditions and numerous road closures made it challenging to coordinate the response but our volunteers were terrific. It's great that we have local volunteer teams who can support their own communities."

The storm is now bearing down on Tasmania and eastern parts of Victoria and the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has issued warnings for major flooding across Tasmania. People have been strongly advised to stay away from the coast and not to walk or drive through flood water.

As the storm continues towards Tasmania and as evacuation centres open, Red Cross teams are on stand-by and ready to respond. During a crisis, Red Cross volunteers and staff working alongside police, fire and other emergency services, government and community partners to help ensure people affected by disasters are supported.

Red Cross has been responding to emergencies for 100 years. To help Red Cross continue to provide valuable assistance to people caught up in disasters across Australia and further afield, you can donate to Red Cross' Disaster Relief and Recovery work.

Donations can be made online at or by calling 1800 811 700.

If you've been affected by the storms, find out how to clean up after a flood and deal with damage caused by strong winds