SAES teams serve flood-affected Victoria
BY SIMONE WORTHING
Salvation Army Emergency Services (SAES) teams have been catering at three evacuation centres in Victoria in the aftermath of the heavy rain and severe storms that have lashed the state over the past week. Several communities have been inundated with flood waters and, although these are receding now in some towns such as Seymour and Yea, rivers are expected to rise in the northern regional city of Shepparton.
Beginning on Monday 8 January, SAES teams served at the Bendigo, Echuca and Seymour evacuation centres. “Our teams spread out across the state to assist and support community members who were impacted by the floods,” said Carolyn Spratling, SAES response coordinator in Victoria.
“The team at Bendigo provided material aid, including bedding, toiletries, baby needs, ladies’ personal needs and dry clothing as needed; in Echuca, we served meals to the evacuees from the northern town of Rochester; and in Seymour, the teams provided bedding, toiletries and catering to those who had to evacuate.
“An SAES team also went to Rochester to run a community barbecue. We thank all our volunteers who have given up their time over the last 24 hours to serve impacted communities.”
The teams have now completed the required catering and assistance and have been stood down.
The flood response is already moving from the emergency to recovery phase.
“Local councils are keeping records of people coming through evacuation centres, who they are housing, and who may need assistance going forward,” explained Territorial Envoy Margaret Coombridge, SAES recovery coordinator Vic/Tas. “There is always great concern for those who have been experiencing homelessness and camping close to rivers and waterways.
“In Seymour and Shepparton, the SAES continues to work with the local councils to support people who might need assistance. As referrals are received, we are also encouraging community members to access Doorways assistance by contacting The Salvation Army’s phone assistance line (PAL) Victoria on 03 8873 5288.
"It is during 'non-event, down times' that the SAES works hard building relationships with local council by supporting events and exercises. It is because of this work that the team is invited into communities during and following disaster events to work with others and provide support to those impacted."
To see more photos, click on the slider below.