Hawkesbury communities wait for waters to recede

Farm managers Danny and Briana McLennon have developed something of a checklist over the past few days as water floods the paddocks at the Lower Macdonald property where they live in Sydney’s northwest.

Ration bales of hay to feed horses and cows. Monitor water levels to make sure they don’t rise any higher. Scan the property for hazards such as falling trees and hope the fences are still intact. Check with neighbors to see how they are doing. Turn on the generator to keep the chickens warm, but only for a short time to avoid using too much fuel.

The SES delivered essential food items and fuel to Danny and Briana McLennon on Saturday.Credit:Dean Sewell

“Right now the main thing is to make sure you have enough gas,” Mr McLennon said. “You have to use it sparingly because you don’t know when you’ll have more.”

Residents along the Hawkesbury and Lower Nepean rivers in Sydney have been waiting for days for waters to rise or recede as emergency services deliver supplies by boat while some places remain isolated.

The McLennons moved the farm’s 11 horses and 40 cattle, including 14 calves, to higher ground on Wednesday in anticipation of flooding.

There isn’t much food for the animals at their new location, but the farm owner has arranged for 10 bales of hay to be delivered to the property through SES on Saturday. He also organized the delivery of 50 extra balls for the rest of the community, to try and help the neighbours.

“Everyone is coming together, offering help to anyone in need. There is a lot of communication with SES, RFS and all the emergency services,” Mr McDonald said.

The Hawkesbury SES unit said on Saturday it was supporting isolated communities in the Webbs Creek and Macdonald valleys, delivering food donated by Woolworths and fuel.

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