For elderly Lower MacDonald residents, Alan Hunt, 86, and Janice Hunt, 79, seeing members of the ADF assist with removing flood debris was not only a great relief but a point of personal pride with their son, a current serving Army reservist.
Among many residents in the area evacuated by boat from the NSW State Emergency Service during extensive flooding after losing power and water, the Hunts said they were thankful for the depth of community support and assistance provided during the flooding.
Having lived in Lower MacDonald for more than 21 years, they recalled that while flooding had previously affected the area, this was by far worse than anything they had experienced before.
Mr Hunt, a co-founder at the local ‘Men’s Shed’ community group assisting correctional rehabilitation groups and other elderly members of the community said it was a team effort.
“People that you’d never normally meet from the area before were all banding together helping one and other after the flood offering anything they could to help,” Mr Hunt said.
Speaking to the support received by state emergency agencies, Mrs Hunt said it was a relief to see them around.
“You felt reassured seeing the SES going past with their boats and helicopters knowing they were there if you needed them,” she said.
In the weeks following the flooding, personnel from Operation NSW Flood Assist were able to assist the Hunts by removing heavy and water-logged flood debris from flooded garages and sheds, moving it to be able to be removed by local council contractors.
“It’s been a great relief especially with the heavy lifting, knowing there is light at the end of the tunnel. It has given us hope to say maybe we can do this and get through it,” Mr Hunt said.
Particularly proud to have the ADF assist them, Mr and Mrs Hunt’s son Corporal Chris Hunt is a serving Army reservist with the 1st / 15th Royal New South Wales Lancers based in Holsworthy Barracks.