A year after the devastating Lismore floods, townsfolk are still dealing with the long-term effects of the disaster.
Despite the difficulties they face, many find strength and hope in community solidarity.
The March 2022 floods were the worst to hit the town in more than a decade, inundating more than 100 homes and businesses and causing even more damage.
After the floods, communities helped each other and started a long process of recovery.
Local charities and government agencies provided vital assistance, and community members volunteered their time and resources to help those in need.
Bishop Gregory Homing, who visited the town after the disaster, praised the community’s resilience and spirit in the face of adversity.
“The Lismore flood was a tragedy, but it also brought out the best in people,” he told local media.
Despite last year’s progress, many residents are still suffering from the mental and economic aftermath of the floods.
Some are still living in temporary housing, while others are coping with the stress of rebuilding their homes and businesses.
Local business owner Jane Smith, whose shop was badly damaged by the floods, said last year was a constant struggle.
“It was an emotional roller coaster,” she says.
“One day we feel like we are making progress and the next we feel like we are back where we started. I have.”
Need to strengthen disaster countermeasures
The Lismore floods also highlighted the need for better local disaster preparedness and infrastructure.
The disaster calls for more investment in improved flood warning systems, improved drainage, and flood mitigation measures.
Late last year, three Catholic colleges—Trinity College in Lismore, St. John’s College in Woodlawn, and Xavier College in Ballina—were awarded by the state government in recognition of their extraordinary efforts to sustain these schools in the face of disaster. Received the Resilience Award.
For the Trinity College community of 900 students, the challenges were enormous after the school collapsed on the banks of the Wilsons River.
It is unlikely that the university will return to its original location.
Instead, Trinity College moved to the Southern Cross University campus in Lismore as plans for the future took shape.
Despite the challenges ahead, the community is optimistic about the future.
“While the flooding was a devastating event, it also demonstrated the strength and resilience of our community,” said Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell.
“We are still recovering, but we are determined to come out stronger and more prepared than ever.”
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https://cathnews.co.nz/2023/03/02/lismore-flood-one-year-on-residents-find-hope-in-community-spirit/ One Year After the Lismore Floods: Residents Find Hope in the Community Spirit