Fri. Nov 18th, 2022

As floodwaters inundate the New South Wales mid north coast, residents are scrambling to take stock of the damage and prepare for the rising tide.
Horses and livestock were seen floating along rivers and washing up on beaches on Sunday, as the region faced a once in a lifetime deluge.
Greg Cox, who lives in Raymond Terrace north of Newcastle, was watching the water slowly rise around his property on Sunday morning.
Once the water comes through we just have to grin and bear it, he said.
The only thing we can do is to lift everything high off the ground, especially the more valuable stuff. Weve put stuff on top of my ute, and on top of the beds, but thats all we can really do.
At this stage, I would say were going to have water coming through the downstairs part of the house by this afternoon, when the tide comes in.
The rain has battered the region for days, with the Bureau of Meteorology warning that another 100mm of rain could fall on Sunday.
The Bom has already issued 14 flood warnings across the state, including a major flood warning at the Hawkesbury River at North Richmond, and the State Emergency Services have responded to thousands of callouts as floodwaters continue to surge.
Greg Cox watches the water rise and lap around the doors of his Raymond Terrace home on Sunday morning. Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian
Cox said he had to walk through water to get to his car so he could drive into town and buy some supplies.
I think it could get a whole lot worse before it gets any better, he said. Its pouring rain here now, and its predicted to keep that up in the next 48 hours.
Its devastating. Our whole backyard is underwater, Ive never ever seen anything like this, and I was speaking to my landlord today and he also said hed never seen anything like this before.
Alistair Flower, a businessman and hotelier from Port Macquarie, told Guardian Australia he and his staff had been working hard to protect one of his venues.
Weve seen that the water is rising, and unfortunately the flooding has gotten into the basement and the bottle shop at our premise, he said.
Weve had great work from the SES and my staff, whove been able to pump some water out, but it felt like a bit of a losing battle at times.
Flower owns the Hastings Hotel in Wauchope, which is near the centre of town, and he said he never thought hed see the water rise above the intersection.
Talking to a lot of regulars, they tell us this has surpassed the last great flood in the 60s. I think this has surpassed everything.
Flower, whose home is on the Hastings River, said he saw a cow come floating through, saved only by his neighbours infinity pool.
Cows surrounded by floodwater outside Bulahdelah on New South Wales mid north coast. Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian
I went out to our jetty, and looked back on our neighbour, and it looked like a cow had floated down the river.
Thankfully, they had an infinity pool, which doesnt have a fence line in front of it, allowing the cow to come in.
I think that cow was one of the lucky ones, unfortunately theres been quite a bit of loss of livestock recently.
The loss of livestock has been so great that a Facebook group has been established to help people find their lost animals.
The Mid North Coast horse/livestock flood recovery! group current has over 2,000 members, with people posting images of floating livestock and rescue stories amid the deluge.
The admins on the page hope it will be be a place to post any livestock dead or alive to help owners locate or have peace of mind.
Flower said he believed he knew who the cow belonged to, but because they were isolated and struggling with the flooding some council rangers were working to take it home.
Flower said the community had been taken by surprise by the intensity and speed of the rain and flooding, and that they werent as prepared as they couldve been.
We were very surprised. Just like everybody else, we werent expecting to see a once-in-100-year storm, and the biggest flood of our time. And I think the whole community was surprised by this the rains really came very quickly.
One thing about the Port Macquarie community is that their support and engagement is second to none. And everybodys rallying together, as well see over the next couple of weeks.
For Sarah Soars and Joshua Edge, the flooding and rain came on a day they were hoping to always remember, but it was a day theyll never forget it for more tragic reasons.
They had to watch their home, with their pets inside, being swept away by flood waters on the day they had planned to wed.
The couple, who are currently separated in Taree and Tinonee respectively, told Channel Nines Today Show they were devastated by their loss.
Watching our home float past was devastating, we lost everything. Our little dog was in the house, Edge said We loved all our animals, the pain that they had to go through, I dont want to think about it. She [the dog] would have been so scared.
The force of that river was unbelievable, to lift our home, its just unbelievable.
Weve got nothing, my brother has given me clothes.
All I wanted to do was get married to Sarah.
Soars said their home was lost in only a matter of minutes and that she could hardly believe it had happened.
Not even ten minutes and it was out of our sight, she said on the Today show.
Im lost for words, I dont even know what to say, everything we own everything weve worked hard for: gone.
Edges brother, Lyle, has set up an online fundraiser for the couple, which surpassed its target of $30,000 in only a matter of hours.