More than 18,000 people have been evacuated in Australia after heavy rains led to major flooding in the country. The Australian Red Cross is helping people forced from their homes by the floodwaters. The rain is expected to continue through the next several days.
The evacuations have occurred in the Mid-North Coast Region and Greater Sydney Area. A number of houses, roads and bridges have been damaged. Emergency services have conducted over 750 rescues. Some areas have received as much as 39 inches of rain since late last week and more rain is expected. Homes and roads are completely under water in some neighborhoods. Sadly, some of the flooded homes were also impacted by wildfires in Australia in 2019 and 2020.
Near Sydney, heavy rain has caused the Warragamba Dam, Australia's largest urban water supply dam, to overflow its banks. Evacuations are ongoing as evacuation orders and warnings have been issued for residents in Greater Sidney, Hunter, Mid North Coast and Clearance Nambucca Regions.
AUSTRALIAN RED CROSS HELPING Teams from the Australian Red Cross have been responding for several days. As of March 22, evacuation centers housed more than 1,000 people, many of whom were forced to evacuate with little to no warning. More than 45 Red Cross workers are providing comfort, support and psychosocial first aid to people affected by the disaster.
Red Cross volunteers are also helping distribute clothing and blankets and are providing the public with information and assisting with inquiries at the Public Information and Inquiry Centre (PIIC) in Sydney.
Register.Find.Reunite, a service managed by Australian Red Cross that registers, finds and reunites family, friends and loved ones after an emergency, is open to help people who have been separated in this emergency. The service has had 165 registrations and 26 enquiries. Australian Red Cross and NSW Police are encouraging people in affected areas to self-register so families and loved ones can locate those caught up in this disaster.