After a gruelling 177 days, the NSW State Emergency Service (SES) has lifted its final flood warning, signifying the end of the longest flooding operation in the organisation’s history.
This week, the river level dropped below minor on the Darling River at Burtundy in western NSW.
Since 14 September 2022, the NSW SES has been active across widespread parts of the State.
The NSW SES responded to almost 27,000 requests for assistance from the public. These included more than 960 flood rescues of people caught in flood water, issuing more than a record two million sandbags to residents trying to protect their properties and undertaking more than 1,000 resupply missions to isolated communities.
NSW SES Acting Commissioner Damien Johnston praised the tireless efforts of NSW SES volunteers as well as state, national and international emergency partners who assisted with the response.
“It’s been an incredible commitment by the men and women who volunteer their time to be a part of the NSW SES,” he said.
“They have given more than two million hours of work during this flood. They took time off from their own employment and away from their families to help communities who were impacted by this devastating natural disaster.”
The unprecedented nature of flooding saw the NSW SES draw on support from emergency partners from across the State and all over the country. It was also the first time in NSW’s history that an international contingent from Singapore and New Zealand assisted with the flood efforts.
Acting Commissioner Johnston said this flood event was tragic, resulting in the deaths of seven people.
“On behalf of the NSW SES and all our members I express our sincere condolences to the families and friends of loved ones who lost their lives,” he said.
Thousands of livestock, crops, pets, properties, and businesses were also lost to the flood waters. Ultimately, 157 homes were destroyed and 2816 homes left uninhabitable.
During the flood crisis, the NSW SES issued over 3,960 emergency warnings to impacted communities across NSW.