Flooding nearly killed Mullumbimby, but the community is banding together to keep it alive

nsw floods

My favorite local bookstore, gutted, all surviving books offered free. Source: Fleur Brown

Someone’s 70-year-old neighbour nearly drowned, clinging alone and terrified on the roof of her house for hours when the storm first hit and the town lost power and phone service.

Some families are sleeping on concrete floors, refusing to leave their homes. Hundreds of other newly homeless adults and children are sleeping on donated and makeshift mattresses in the local community hall. Nobody has been able to reach others stranded in a damaged road — by either phone or vehicle.

A woman in the coin laundry lost her home and her wallet and is using the laundry to clean her few remaining clothes at the invitation of the owner. She urgently needs underwear.

Neighbours helping neighbours in Northern NSW

Neighbours helping neighbours in northern NSW. Source: Fleur Brown

The rainstorm may have past, but in its wake is layers of mud and dust

Flood damaged shop

Every store in town has catastrophic damage — to stock and inside the store. Source: Fleur Brown

Source: Fleur Brown.

After the deluge

Operation Floodzone Mullumbimby — an army of volunteers serving hundreds of newly homeless. Source: Fleur Brown.

The street out of town is a third world country, every home has turned out its entire contents onto the street. Source: Fleur Brown.

Beauty in the chaos

“It’s … just so devastating … it’s too traumatic to talk about it,” he says, looking down at the floor. “All the shops have gone. All of them. And most of the houses. There’s no food and all communication is down.”

Source: Fleur Brown

This article was first published on Medium.

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