The recent extreme weather saw homes in Westergate threatened by floodwater. On Friday 14th February, when many were preparing for a Valentines night out, some home owners were forced to take drastic action to preserve home contents from the rising floodwaters. And at least 3 homes, one a 400 year old cottage, were under several inches of water.

Fire service support team with sandbags

Fire crews were called to the scene at around 1.30pm, working for 8 hours to get the situation under control. At around 5.30pm local  Rapid Relief Team (RRT) representatives offered support to the fire crews, both with refreshments and assistance with sandbagging.

Setting up

A refreshment point was set up nearby to the delight of both fire crews and police teams controlling the rush hour traffic, many of whom had worked long shifts. Hot drinks were served, to combat the cold evening, along with cold drinks and a selection of snack foods. Food donations were received from the village store and a local resident. The refreshment point was set up outside the local Indian restaurant, busier than ever with Valentines customer, and there was a great sense of community spirit.

The busy refreshment point

The floodwaters were still rising due to blocked drains and culverts. Fire crews, with the support of RRT volunteers worked on 3 fronts – using tenders to pump water to flowing drains, unblocking drains and culverts, and placing sandbags and a polyboom to protect local properties.

Coffee and cakes – appreciated by all

After successfully unblocking three drains and two culverts, the water began to subside and attention was given to the flooded properties. The RRT volunteers worked with the fire crews and a support unit to clear the flooded houses, finishing after 9pm.

Flood defenses in place

The water continues to flow off the fields nearby, overflowing the banks of the small stream and turning nearby roads into rivers. Large pumps have been installed, operating 24/7 to keep the water levels down, and some homes are still under serious threat.

Clearing flooded properties – the teams work together

‘We have assisted at a number of incidents in the area’ said an RRT volunteer ‘and our support has always been gratefully received. We are always ready to support the community when the need arises’.


Related Articles

Community | Compassion | Support

Help us make a difference

Contribute through monthly or one-off donations and support the Rapid Relief Team’s work across Australia