Severe weather stretches Moruya SES resources

IT never rains, it pours – just ask Moruya SES.

The Moruya unit answered 10 calls in the area courtesy of the heavy rain and high winds at the weekend, and even had to attend to its own headquarters, which was not spared the deluge.

The unit’s volunteers filled 60 sandbags before putting them up to save properties from inundation.

Of course, Moruya and its surrounds weren’t as hard hit as other areas of NSW, so the Moruya unit had crews as far afield as Wauchope on the Mid-North Coast.

This meant that only six volunteers could help around Moruya itself.

“Of those, two were on operations (back at headquarters), so there were four of us out in the field,” deputy unit controller Jane Knuckey said.

They got their first assignment, a tree down on the highway at Tuross Head on Saturday morning, and they finished at around midnight on Sunday.

All the other work came on Sunday afternoon.

Filling and placing the sandbags wasn’t easy, but the hardest job was on a house in Broulee. Its gutters were blocked, causing water to pour into all the wrong places. 

“It was very nasty, but it was fortunate that it was a flat roof,” Ms Knuckey said.

Moruya unit controller Alan Mitchell said there was a lesson in this.

“We need to get the message out that whether you own or rent a place, it is your responsibility to make sure the drains and gutters are clean,” he said.

“We would rather you did that than call us because your house is taking in water.” 

The gutters of the Moruya SES headquarters had been cleaned but even that couldn’t stop water flooding in on Sunday afternoon.

“Our gutters couldn’t cope,” Ms Knuckey said.

“We had an inch of water in the kitchen and the garage was flooded.”

Ms Knuckey said that people at all the houses where the unit assisted were appreciative.

“They were lovely and very, very grateful,” she said.

Meanwhile, the other Moruya SES teams headed to the likes of Gerringong, Kiama, Maitland and Wauchope to help those in need.

Kiama in particular was hit by a severe storm on Sunday that damaged more than 100 homes.

For more photographs from the weekend’s wild weather around the state, go to www.batemansbaypost.com.au.

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