On the weekend of 4/5th of June 2016, a large portion of the east coast of Australia experienced a major weather event in the form of a low pressure system which brought very heavy rain.

Picton CBD is situated on the Stonequarry Creek and this water system was at capacity on Sunday afternoon when the rain came in extra hard. Being in a valley, the main street became a river and flooded out most of the premises in the CBD. Some of the buildings having over 1.8m of water through them totally destroying stock.

On Monday morning, the 6th, the RRT representative went down to the town centre to see if there was some way we could help. The federal member for the area, Angus Taylor, was already in town and engaged the RRT to provide refreshments to the volunteers, shop owners and emergency crews. He said “You guys are like angels”.

By lunch time the RRT had a BBQ trailer set up in the carpark of the local IGA store and was supplying the busy main street with sausage sandwiches and drinks. The IGA store had about 1.2m of water though the shop so were having to throw out the majority of their stock into a large pile in front of where the RRT was set up.

Throughout the afternoon, food was handed out to those who were working tirelessly to help get the place cleaned up. The NSW Premier Mike Baird visited Picton to inspect the damage and was a great encouragement to all, thanking the RRT for their efforts.

At dinner time, as there were still many houses without power or running water, the RRT provided dinner to these people and also to the emergency crews who were still working. All up there was just over 100 volunteers who donated their time to help in the clean up as well as about 50 emergency personnel and 50 residences who were fed throughout the day.

On Tuesday the 7th, the RRT set back up at 10am for a late breakfast/morning tea and got cooking more sausages. At about 11:30 the PM The Honourable Malcolm Turnbull visited the town to see the damage and to encourage the locals. At lunch time the media present couldn’t resist trying out the sausage sandwiches as well as the crowd of locals that were following the PM.

That afternoon the emergency crews had finished their commission and were packing up so they were provided with a sandwich and other cakes for the trip home. There was still a few houses without power so those residences were given some warm food and muffins, cakes and other sweats. RRT was packed up at about 21:00.

Picton Floods TripleM Fund Raiser

Wednesday night the 8th of June, just a day after the Picton RRT team had packed up from supplying refreshments to the folk who were involved in the clean-up, a call came through from the State Member for Wollondilly, Jai Rowell asking for us to set up by 6am the next morning to provide hotdogs and refreshments to a small crew from the TripleM radio station.

Hosted by the ex-NRL great Mark Geyer, the station was raising funds from the general public for those affected by the floods. The broad casting started at 6am so the trailer was set up at 5:30am and had hot drinks and sausages cooking by 5:45am. The team served about 50 sausage sandwiches and many hot and cold drinks.

The fund raising was an absolute success with donations coming in from everywhere, even a truck driver passing through and seeing the event stopped and handed out some hard earned cash. The event was over by 8:30am as the main Street had to be cleared before the morning traffic was affected.

The efforts of the RRT and the quick response was very much appreciated. Thank you very much to the team at TripleM and their support for the many who have lost almost everything.

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