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Last Updated: Monday, 7 January 2008, 14:09 GMT
Eyewitness: 'Our land is devastated'
Thousands of people have been stranded by the worst flooding to hit eastern Australia in 20 years.

Bindi Tee, who lives in Murwillumbah, northern New South Wales, explains how the floods have devastated the farming communities where she lives.


We're stuck at home with these floods. The fences on our land have been swept away. Huge bridges have gone and the tar has come up from the roads.

Flooding in Murwillumbah - Picture Erin Claydon

Farming communities have been devastated. This is a disaster zone.

It is an area which does flood so we had supplies. But we are stuck at home unable to do anything. Many people are simply unable to get into town.

This year the floods have really devastated many families.

We went to help some friends of ours near Chillingham whose home and furniture were badly damaged.

The flood burst like a big rushing stream, straight through their house at 11pm. Doors were ripped off and they were trapped up to their necks in water. They had fridges knocking them over. It was terrifying.

With normal floods the water just rises up. But this time it was a swirling mass that burst through quite violently and suddenly. The water came up in just 10 minutes.

'Stranded'

One family we know have lost the big bridge they built to get into town. Now they are stranded with no access except by boat. In fact, some villages have been cut off. We've also seen huge cyclonic seas, really big waves. It is dramatic stuff.

People's livelihoods have been seriously threatened by the floods. My husband can't go to work. Hugh swathes of sugarcane are underwater. Cattle has been dispersed everywhere.

A lot of our area needs to be completely reconstructed. It's a huge job and because they are faming communities, people don't have a lot of money.

Nevertheless, everybody wants to help people. There's a real sense of community, a sense of togetherness in disaster.


SEE ALSO
Australia floods strand thousands
07 Jan 08 |  Asia-Pacific



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