Samaritan’s Purse Australian Disaster Relief Team prepares to deploy to central Victoria to begin relief and recovery work.
On October 12, consecutive months of record rainfall in central Victoria came to a head when the region’s Murray-Darling system of rivers and creeks breached, impacting over 15,000 residents.
Samaritan’s Purse Australian Disaster Relief Team has been on the ground since October 24 assessing the damage and working with the community’s churches and relief centres. A church partner has been established with Echuca Community Church and will form a base for operations in Echuca and Rochester.
Samaritan’s Purse Site Leadership Team (SLT) members are currently on the ground in Echuca and Rochester, working with community relief centres to assess and observe the situation as it continues to develop throughout the week.
The Disaster Relief Unit together with 2 supporting utes and tool trailers carrying recovery and sanitisation equipment are preparing to deploy for central Victoria to provide much needed recovery and relief to the community. Among them is the town of Echuca, home to 15,000 residents, which constructed a 2.5-kilometre emergency levee, dividing the town to minimise the impact of floodwater. 25 minutes further south of the Campaspe River is Rochester, a town of about 3,000 residents have been devasted by the floods, impacting approximately 90% of homes.
Samaritan’s Purse is partnering with Echuca Community Church which will form the base of operations for volunteeers. It will enable our team to brief volunteers each morning to complete the work-orders set out each day. A key part of recovery process includes the Rapid Response Team chaplains, who will focus on coming alongside hurting families and their emotional needs, reminding them that they are not alone.
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Many volunteers will be needed to serve as the hand and feet of Jesus to help those whose lives have been devastated by chaos, from helping impacted families clean up their properties – removing flood-damaged furniture, cabinetry, walls, and floors as well as sanitising timber frames to prevent mould.