SES rescuing hundreds

FLOOD rescue teams from the NSW State Emergency Service (SES) Canterbury and Bankstown Units were kept busy rescuing stranded motorists from the weekend’s wild, wet and windy weather.

Emergency evacuations were ordered for hundreds of residents in dozens of low lying areas including the Bankstown Aerodrome, Picnic Point, East Hills and Milperra after the Bureau of Meteorology issued flood warnings for both the Georges and Cooks Rivers.
The Georges River peaked at Milperra at 5.3m early Monday morning with major flooding higher than the 1988 flood, and at Picnic Point at 2.3m on Monday afternoon with minor flooding.
Bankstown SES commander David Niven said they had received 383 requests for assistance as a result of the weather, while Canterbury SES commander Lenore Nelson said that between Sunday and Monday, they received 262 calls for help.
“The jobs were mainly for leaking roofs and gutters, flooding caused by blocked drains and fallen trees and branches,” she said.
“In the event of storm or flood emergencies, contact the SES on 132 500 or if the situation is life-threatening, call Triple Zero (000).”
Mrs Nelson said that across the 42 units in the Metro Zone, SES volunteers carried out 150 rescues on Sunday night alone.
“A large majority of those were for people just driving into floodwater,” she said.
“In one case, our volunteers put witches hats up to block Moxon Road at Riverwood after the crew rescued one pair of drivers only to have to go back a short time later to rescue another stranded driver who had ignored the warnings.
“It’s very frustrating. Our guys were getting called out every few minutes for a flood rescue, and some of those were entirely preventable.”