As expected, Australian Defence Force (ADF) helicopters have today (Tuesday) deployed to NSW to support search and rescue activities for the flood emergency.
Additional ADF personnel and equipment will also deploy this week to assist with the clearance and recovery operation.
The Acting Minister for Defence, Senator Marise Payne, said the military stands ready to support state emergency services with the immediate response to the floods. Prime Minister Scott Morrison had told Parliament on Monday that such a deployment was likely, given the scale of the emergency.
Clearing roads and restoring power and water
“Defence is working with the NSW State Emergency Operations Centre to determine how it can further support and assist state emergency services with tasks such as assessing damage to properties, clearing roads and helping restore electricity and water,” Payne said.
“Defence is well-equipped to provide further assistance if required, which was demonstrated last year when the ADF provided support during the Black Summer Bushfires, throughout Covid-19 and the recent bushfires in Western Australia.”
The Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud, said the hard work of removing flood affected property contents will be both demanding and dangerous.
ADF has necessary expertise and equipment
“Defence has quickly got the ball rolling to provide the appropriate equipment and personnel for the clean-up task,” the minister said.
“The ADF has the heavy equipment and expertise to clear the roads to allow access to those isolated in both urban and regional areas. This will allow experts in the civil sector to get in and repair critical infrastructure and essential services.”
According to the minister, the amount of flood and storm debris to be removed will be enormous and could be overwhelming for those people who had been affected and were trying to put their lives back together.
Some new flooding evacuation orders in place
“They will be given comfort when the men and women in uniform turn up, stand shoulder to shoulder with them and get the job done,” he said.
Meanwhile, in the latest flood news several new evacuation orders are in place and major flooding is occurring along the Hawkesbury River at North Richmond and Windsor. High level flooding is likely to continue there for most of the week.
The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast blue skies and sunshine for Sydney and the Mid North Coast, but warned that flooding dangers remain present.