In December 2022 and January 2023 I went out to Forbes and Eugowra, NSW, Australia to document the ongoing struggles and stories of the people who had endured the floods in November 2022. Here are their stories.
Josh and Ellissa Pigott were woken by a knock at the door at 2.30am. The creek next to their new home in Eugowra, NSW was rising. They took animals to higher ground and returned to lift their belongings. Only an hour later the water was in their home at mid-calf level and rising rapidly. They went to a nearby friend’s place to wait it out, which theoretically never floods. But at 9am flash flooding came down from the hills. They jumped in a vehicle to get out but minutes later it was up to the windscreen. The whole town went under.
This is Tatti King’s home in Eugowra, NSW which went under in the floods of November 2022. There is diesel on the walls to be cleaned and the house is slowly drying out. This is her fourth flood in 18 months as her other home at Ebenezer, NSW near the Hawkesbury River has flooded three times. “I feel like a walking zombie. There is nothing left in the tank. But what doesn’t break you makes you stronger.” On top of all that, Tatti is supporting traumatised clients through this disaster as she runs a local mental health and disability agency called Axcess Disability.
I spent the morning with Ron, an old family friend, on his property near Forbes, NSW and we travelled around in his ute. He showed me where two levies protected the homestead from the October and November 2022 floods. However, eight kilometres of fencing needs to be fixed and cleaned before rust sets in to the wires. “It’s best to take each job bit by bit, day by day or you get overwhelmed. Easy does it.”
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Monique Hohnberg Copyright 2023