A helping hand for Eddie

Have just donated

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Keep it rolling

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Hi all.
I just wanted to say a quick thank you for all of the messages of support as well as the donations.
I intend on posting what I went through as well as a full update on my situation in the near future. As I’m sure you can all appreciate, between cleaning up and trying to get personal things sorted, I don’t have a lot of spare time on my hands right now.

Again, thank you so much for all of the support, I cannot overstate how much it means to me.

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Good to see you able to get back on the forum, hopefully you’ll have some semblance of normality soon.

Glad that your cove/sfcu friends could help a little bit.

Sydney FC have donated a signed jersey to be raffled for Eddies fundraiser.

Details here

2022 Raffle Tickets, Eddie’s Flood Fundraiser. | Sydney FC Unofficial (SFCU)

Please note that donors to the fundraiser have already been assigned raffle tickets.

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Awesome idea ,
hopefully others bought some tickets,

Lots of tickets sold already.

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Thanks again to Southy, Grant, The Cove and Sydney FC. I’ll never be able to truly express the gratitude I have for everything you have all done.
I hope everyone down there has come through this extreme weather safely, especially those on the Hawkesbury and the Northern Beaches.

So this is how everything unfolded for me. It’s a long post and I apologise but it does help to get it all out.

In the week leading up to the flooding the river just touched the moderate flood level before dropping just below minor on the Friday. With the approaching weather system we all knew a flood was inevitable but were not too worried about the severity.
Around lunchtime on the Saturday the rain began to intensify. I was at work and we started to plan for moving stock upstairs “just in case”. We were carrying a good $200k in stock and need to move fridges and the like so moving some of the hot stock early doesn’t hurt. The plan was to get stuff ready and do it on Sunday as “upstairs” is the nightclub which was going to be open for the first time since the Omicron restrictions were lifted.
Around 4pm, with rain continuing, one of the local SES commanders came in to notify us that they were going to start pumping water from the drainage creek into the river. This had never been done before so I asked her what they were expecting. She told me that the BOM had forecast 250mm and if that was what we got then the levee may overtop. She then mentioned a 400mm figure and said if that was the case then we’re fucked. I told her what our plans were and she said if you can start to move stuff now then do it.
In the 2017 flood (I was still in Sydney) they moved far too late and lost everything so this time our owner and the licensee said start packing, don’t open the nightclub and move the excess stock up. We finished around midnight and would make the call on Sunday as to what next.
I got home, had a shower and went to bed not worried in the slightest that I would be affected apart from maybe being cut off from town for a day or 2 come Monday. My place was above the 2017 flood level and would only see minor inundation at the 1954 & 74 level. My only concern was where to leave my car on the Sunday night.
I woke up Sunday morning and while it was still raining it wasn’t that heavy. It also hadn’t been that intense overnight and the river height hadn’t increased that much. I got to work at 10am and the plan was to trade for as long as possible while we packed up. Myself and the other manager were thinking that maybe we had jumped the gun a bit, the rain wasn’t that heavy and other shops in town weren’t packing up. As the afternoon wore on more and more shops began to pack up but the overall feeling was more precautionary than impending doom. While it was now expected that the levee would overtop it was though that the level would be below that of 2017. The rain, while constant, hadn’t been particularly heavy.
By 7pm we had packed the pub and bottle shop up and all went home. I was to go back in in the early hours of Monday morning to open the roller doors so that the water wouldn’t damage them. They didn’t do this in 2017 and not being able to source new doors put reopening back a month so they didn’t want to make the same mistake.
Around 8pm I had a knock on my door and was told we had to evacuate by 9am Monday. I was assured that there was no risk to my place, just that there may not be electricity or fresh water and that I’d be isolated. As I had prepared and had water and food I wasn’t too worried. I’d make sure everything was charged up, move my car to higher ground when I opened the doors at work then come back home and ride it out.
By this time the rain had became quite heavy and there was no breaks. I looked at the BOM website and all of the upper catchment creeks had risen substantially. It was pretty clear that the overtopping was going to happen earlier than what was being forecast so I went and opened the doors.
I told a mate that I’d give him a hand moving stuff up at his place and on my way home from doing the doors he called. There’s a back way through the industrial estate that I normally take and this is the way I went. By this time the rain was absolutely bucketing down, wipers on full, doing 30km/h and almost no visibility. I drove straight into floodwater and within seconds the water was lapping at my bonnet. It was like a wall of water coming towards me. There was a driveway that went up out of the water to my right and I swung up there and got out of the water. I tracked back over the higher ground, got back on the road and the long way to his house. We moved his stuff and after telling him what happened I said that I think I’ll go to the evacuation centre tonight. He said that I could stay at his but I was worried about my car so I said no.
I got back to my place around 10pm and there was another knock on my door. This time the message was we’re evacuating now. Again, thinking that my place would be safe, I packed an overnight bag with 4 sets of clothes, my laptop a pillow and blanket and that’s about it. I lifted some stuff up so nothing was directly on the floor, got into my car and drove to the evacuation centre.
I arrived a bit after 11pm. It was absolute chaos. There was nothing apart from a couple of volunteers doing their absolute best to deal with an unfolding catastrophe. Person after person trickling in, soaking wet, with nothing to sleep on other than a hard gym floor. Between that and the bright lights remaining on, I decided I would ride the night out in my car and take stock of the situation in the morning. In a day or 2 I’ll be back home anyway.
I woke around 7am. All night it rained the heaviest rain I’ve ever heard, the lighter periods were like summer thunderstorms. I reached for my phone so I could check the river height on the BOM website.

12.5m and rising. I rubbed my eyes, surely that’s not right. It wasn’t, it was 13.5m.
For reference, 2017 was around 11.5m and 1954 & 74 were around 12.4m.

That was my place completely underwater. That’s everything gone. I’d like to say what I felt but I didn’t feel anything. All I wanted to do was go to the toilet so I got out of my car and headed up to the centre.
There were people everywhere, maybe 4 times as many people as 7 hours ago. These people were different though, they had absolutely nothing, literally just the clothes on their back.
Throughout the day more and more like them came through. Some I knew, many know me through my job. All had similar stories of climbing onto their rooves in the middle of the night because water had come into the second level of their houses. They had all been rescued by people in tinnies.
One of my workmates was dropped off by the SES van, he was wearing a shirt, shorts and carrying his broken phone. He had to jump from his roof into the water and get to his neighbours roof so a stranger in a tinnie could rescue him.
My mate who I went around and helped on the Sunday night contacted me and said that water was up to his waist in the second level of their house, a house raised above the 54/74 level. I told him to get on his roof because no one is coming.
My friends at the other end of the street, she got out with the kids early on Sunday night but he and his brother stayed like usual. They were ferried across to a hill by a guy in a tinnie where 60 of them waited to be rescued.
Another of my mates was one of the guys in a tinnie but he had to stop because his own house was going under.
Another of my friends drowned. Washed away on the Sunday but at least they found him. His funeral is tomorrow.

I may have lost just about everything but I count myself lucky that I didn’t have to go through any of that.

I got back to my place, I think on the Thursday. After being told it had completely washed away I was more than surprised to see that it was simply off its footings some 5m away and on a 45 degree list. I don’t know what I felt. Relief, sure, but that’s then immediately replaced with the absolute despair that you’ll never live there again. Then the hope that you can still get some things out, then the heartbreak of everything that you can’t. I didn’t have my keys on me and not wanting to break into my clearly broken place, I went back on Friday.
The floor was still wet with mud, the ceilings still dripping and everything strewn to one side. Somehow my tv cabinet was on top of my tv & the base of my bed pinned to the wall by the mattress but some clothes that I had washed but not taken out of the basket were okay. I took them with me and thought that was all I would get.
I woke up in the middle of the night and realised that my war medals would still be there so I went back the next day and got them. Apart from being quite wet and needing a bit of a clean they’re alright although I couldn’t find my Returned From Active Service Badge.
I managed to salvage some sentimental items and some more clothes but apart from that I lost everything.

After 2 nights at the evacuation centre the local Coke rep offered me a room off his garage and that’s where I am to this day. It’s a single bed on the floor but it’s not a sports hall and I am so grateful for that.
I’ve been applying for rentals but the already critical housing shortage up here has been made worse by the flood. I’ve got another inspection tomorrow morning. It’s in the little town I grew up in and literally around the corner from one of the places my grandparents lived.

As of right now the CBD still hasn’t had electricity reconnected and there’s still parts of North & South Lismore without power. This is improving though and the town water supply has been secured.

TL;DR I’ve been through some shit and am so very appreciative of everything you all have done. I’ve got something in my eye that I need to see to.

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Fuck that’s rough mate. Genuinely if there’s anything you need help with from afar drop us a message.

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Mate, that’s a terrible experience, I’m so glad we’re able to help in a small way. Hopefully you can get a new place soon and start rebuilding. Stay strong mate.

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Scott Morrison should have to read this every day.

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You could write a straight to DVD movie starring Bruce Willis based on that!

Chuck some sharks in and start a Shark Flood franchise of Z grade movies!

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Hectic story Eddie, thank you for sharing and sincerest condolences for your friend who didn’t make it. :cry:

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I’d definitely watch that!

Eddie if you need any help with defence stuff like paperwork or anything let me know and I will see if I can help.

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In a good news update I’ve found a place to live in the town where I grew up, Kyogle. It’s a small granny flat but right now it feels like a mansion on Millionaires Row to me.
I move in next Wednesday.
To say I’m relieved would be the understatement of the year.

Again, thanks for all of the support.

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There’s bull sharks in the river. Sure that’s mostly when there’s been no rain and they go upstream to have their pups but maybe this was a breed of super bull shark.
I’m sure no one will fact check it if I say I wrestled one in the driveway. Slapped it in the face with my thong, I did.

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Mate, @Factor will feed you beer until you’ve finished your epic tail of shark conqurement.

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Kyogle, as I remember it from 40 years ago, is gorgeous!

Hasn’t changed much since then.
It’s definitely one of those places that gets better the older you get, I wouldn’t want to live there in my 20’s and early 30’s though.
It’s really popular for the car clubs and motorcycle riders of a weekend now. There’s so many good loops that you can do starting and ending from there.

Fun fact: It held a round of the WRC back in the early 2000’s.