Countless communities across the east coast of Australia have banded together to clean up the devastation wrought by the worst floods experienced in 100 years.
Precious lives, homes and livelihoods were lost as five days of record-breaking rain forced more than 40,000 people to flee their homes, while emergency services carried out more than 1000 rescues. For many, this catastrophic weather event, costing billions in damage, has come just over a year after their tight-knit towns were torn apart by the worst bushfires in history.
Despite this fresh wave of heartbreak, it’s clear the Aussie fighting spirit is still alive as people put their lives on the line to save their neighbours, local communities, livestock and precious pets.
Paul and Theresa Zammit had no idea their pet emu, Gookie , could swim until she was discovered up to her neck in floodwaters after escaping her home in Windsor, NSW.
Local baker Albert Vos organised the delivery of 200 loaves of bread to trapped residents.
When Paul saw his big bird swimming against the rising torrent, he jumped in his tinny and tried to coax her in. When she refused, Paul’s neighbours helped him lift her on board. The exhausted emu was thrilled to return to dry land.
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