The widespread and soaking rain of the past week caused minor flooding around Byron shire, which kept State Emergency Service units and their volunteers as well as police rescuers on standby and busy for the clean up.
Video Sharon Shostak
Thanks for showcasing the SES, however, the footage of locals playing in the water looks like harmless fun, but the message the SES is trying to constantly send is not to enter floodwaters and there are many hazards that may not be apparent. For instance, floodwaters are often contaminated with chemicals and some really nasty microorganisms. Misjudging the strength of water flowing over roads and causeways is the most frequent reason for having to rescue people. In fact, invariably, everybody (including myself before I received swiftwater training) underestimates the power of flowing floodwater. Last March near Sherry’s Bridge on the road to Main Arm, a vehicle was swept off the road and the drivers body was found by volunteers 200m further downstream from where the vehicle was found all smashed up. This person was a local, the risk was unnecessary and tragically it ended with the loss of life, and this is not the first time it’s happened. If it’s flooded, forget it.
Paul Sudmals – Local Controller, NSW SES Byron Shire
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