In the latter part of 2022, parts of Australia’s east coast were hit with ongoing flooding, just one week after the declaration of a rare third La Niña. Torrential widespread rain and storms across much of the inland south-east caused major flooding from already full waterways across southern Queensland, inland New South Wales and northern Victoria.
In response to the damage and suffering caused to those in flooded townships – and in small towns – and in the byways of regional Australia and Tasmania, Religions for Peace Australia will conduct Prayers for the welfare of all involved and affected, and for all who are suffering ongoing dislocation and illnesses.
Prayers and Sacred Reflections responding to Floods in Australia will take place online on Tuesday 13 December at 7:30pm. Participants will attend from all states.
South East Queensland, Coastal NSW
A series of floods that occurred from February to April in South East Queensland, the Wide Bay-Burnett and parts of coastal New South Wales. Brisbane suffered major flooding, along with the cities of Maryborough, Gympie, the Sunshine Coast, Caboolture, Toowoomba, Gatton, Ipswich, Logan City, the Gold Coast, Murwillumbah, Mullumbimby, Grafton, Byron Bay, Ballina, Lismore, the Central Coast and parts of Sydney.
On 3 March, thousands of people in Camden, Chipping Norton, Georges Hall, Lansvale, Milperra, Moorebank, Warwick Farm, North Richmond, Windsor, and nearby suburbs were told to evacuate as the Hawkesbury River, Nepean River and Georges rivers began to rise after 100 mm (3.94 in) of rain fell over parts of Western Sydney overnight. Warragamba Dam, Sydney’s chief reservoir, was spilling at a rate in excess of 70 gigalitres a day on 3 March.
On 8 March, another heavy deluge inundated streets in Lansvale, Bass Hill, Bankstown, Liverpool and Wisemans Ferry, in addition to two people being found dead in a storm canal at Wentworthville. Areas near the Georges River and Manly Dam were placed under an evacuation order by the State Emergency Service as floodwaters began to rise that day, with 2000 people evacuating in Manly. Floodwaters in this event topped 2021’s levels, with playgrounds and caravan parks being submerged, particularly in Freshwater, Brookvale, Manly, Curl Curl and the encompassing suburbs. In the Upper North Shore, the Roseville Bridge was flooded, in addition to a portion of a ceiling at Bondi Junction Westfield collapsing.
On 7 April, the floods forced Picton, New South Wales to be placed under an evacuation warning as the Stonequarry Creek continued to rise. Camden, New South Wales was inundated as the floodwaters rose.
Central Coast and Sydney areas
On 2 July, Camden, New South Wales was ordered to evacuate for the fourth time of the year due more major flooding.
Heavy flooding broke out in the Central Coast and Sydney areas of New South Wales, Australia, beginning in early July 2022.
The Local Government Areas that were declared a natural disaster were: Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Camden Council, Canterbury-Bankstown, Campbelltown, Central Coast, Cessnock, Fairfield, Georges River, Hawkesbury, Hornsby, Kiama, Lithgow, Northern Beaches, Penrith, Shellharbour, Shoalhaven, Sutherland, The Hills, Wingecarribee, Wollondilly and Wollongong, with Bayside, Dungog, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Singleton and Upper Lachlan being later included in the list as the scope of the disaster expanded.
In Victoria – during October 2022 – thousands of homes were inundated or isolated by floodwaters, leading to declarations of a state of disaster. Australian Defence Force personnel were deployed to fill and move sandbags. Evacuations were ordered in several towns, including Seymour, Rochester, Carisbrook, Wedderburn and Charlton. On Friday the 14th, the State Emergency Service (SES) conducted more than 200 flood rescues. 146 flood rescues were made the following day. At one point around 4,700 homes were without power and 344 roads were closed. A 71-year-old man was found dead in floodwaters in his backyard in Rochester. It was estimated that 85% of the homes in Rochester were inundated.
By Sunday the 16th, attention was focused on Shepparton where a major sandbagging operation was undertaken. Flood waters moved downstream to Charlton and Echuca where evacuation orders were announced. Echuca residents face two threats, first floodwaters from the Campaspe River and then from the Murray River.
Flooding affected Latrobe where work had commenced on flood mitigation measures after significant flooding in 2016, however the work was not at a stage to offer any further protection at the time of the flooding.
The Tasmanian town of Deloraine was particularly hard hit. Evacuation orders were first issued on 13 October for the town of Meander. The Tasmanian SES was responding to calls for help on the same day.
On 13 November the Central Coast Council estimated that the cost of repairing damage within their region would exceeds $2 million.
New South Wales
On 21 October, dozens of evacuation orders were made with 48 flood warnings active, as the flooding crisis continued in the south of the Murray-Darling basin. More than a week into the disaster, 8,300 calls for help were made to the SES; 40,000 potholes were fixed. A team of engineers and flood planners was organised to prepare South Australia from the eventual flooding of the Murray River closer to its mouth where 120 gigalitres is expected.
Another death was reported on 24 October when a woman’s body was found on the bank of a river near Gulgong, New South Wales.
Central West NSW
Widespread rain and storms spread across NSW, and Victoria, causing more major flooding for river systems. The Mehi River at Moree caused 4,000 residents to be evacuated and reached a peak level of 10.5 metres, with the town receiving 107.8 mm of rain on the 21st of October. Other towns such as Narrabri, Gunnedah and Barraba have experienced rapid major flood levels.
The Wyangala Dam overflowed with record 230,000,000,000 litres per day. By 14 November, flooding along the Lachlan River forced the evacuation of Forbes. Over 220 people were rescued by the SES over the 24 hour period, but a full assessment had not yet been competed. Up to 80% of homes in the town of Eugowra were flood damaged. Flash flooding affected the town of Molong’s central business district, cutting the Mitchell Highway and flooding the only supermarket in town.
Flooding in Condobolin has surpassed the record-setting flood of 1952.
Read how an extreme flash flood wiped out Eugowra, NSW (ABC News)
As the residents of Eugowra begin to rebuild their lives after a deadly flash flood saw them clambering onto rooftops, they are also searching for answers as to how the scale of the disaster caught them by surprise.
Prayers for Floods in Australia
When: Tuesday 13 of December 2022
Time: 7.30 AEST (SA 7 pm, WA 4.30 pm, NT6.00 pm, QLD 6.30 pm)
Register in advance for this meeting at this link
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
(This meeting will be recorded )
Prayers from these religious communities
- Uniting Church
- Brahma Kumaris