We've all read the stories and we've all seen the pictures of the devastating floods that impacted northern NSW, but to hear the harrowing first-hand experiences of your friends who did not know if they would survive, has been gut-wrenching for so many who wish they could do more to help.
For Moree Plains Shire councillor, Brooke Sauer, it's hard to imagine what the affected families are going through, but as her friends have explained, it's the uncertainty of the future that is the toughest challenge.
"After the grief of losing everything, the scariness of the situation as it unfolded, and now the aftershock has worn off, it's 'what do I do now'?" she said.
Cr Sauer explained of family friends who have not yet been able to return to their property to check the damage, because they have no way of getting there - most lost their vehicles in the flooding.
"They are still very much stranded," she said.
The family are lucky enough not to have to stay at an evacuation centre but to have friends who have offered their home, now housing five families under the one roof.
But they are lucky to have survived.
After the grief of losing everything, the scariness of the situation as it unfolded, and now the aftershock has worn off, it's 'what do I do now'?
"They have only ever had a foot of water at their place in previous flooding and never even come close to their house, but this time the rain from the mountains hit like a wall of water. From the time the water started to enter their 1000ha farm, to when it was ankle deep, was only about an hour. There was no warning, but they knew they had to get out with the water rising so fast," Cr Sauer said.
They tied their tinny to a long rope and hoped it would float before climbing on to their roof with their teenage children with just a small backpack containing essentials. When their house started to move from the torrent of water they called in their neighbours who had a bigger and stronger boat.
A number of families waited on the neighbours' barn roof for the rescue helicopters to come.
"They could feel the barn moving too, but they knew it was more stable than their home which they don't believe would have survived the extraordinary force of the water."
Another of Cr Sauer's family friends' home is not salvageable - it will have to be bulldozed. They are now going through the harrowing experience of trying to remove dead cattle from high in trees.
"Originally we had this plan that as soon as we were able, we would go and help clean-up our friends' homes - we didn't stop to think that they may no longer have one," she said.
"Many of the roads are still cut with structural damage or floodwaters remaining, insurance assessors are still weeks away for some. There is just so much uncertainty."
The community has pulled together what support they could in a short time though. Cr Sauer called for donations and as usual, locals were more than generous.
"I know the inundation of donations is now becoming more of a problem than a help on the ground but everyone I have spoken to was just so appreciative that others were thinking of them.
"Some of the things we sent were food hampers and fuel and cleaning kits which were very much welcomed. For some, who couldn't use them for their own homes, it helped them feel like they were contributing to the households where they were now staying."
Cr Sauer thanked her band of helpers including Sharnie Farrell, Jodie Burey, Shirley Reynolds and Sue Fitzgerald along with Wilde Civil who donated a truck and driver, David Brett, to deliver the donations.
"I know there are others in town who have also been collecting donations. I think being on a floodplain and experiencing flooding, although not to the same degree, we can sympathise and empathise with our 'neighbours'. It's completely heartbreaking for so many people who are now displaced permanently and it's really hard to know what to do to help but we just want to show them we care."
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