Community Resilience At Its Finest – Woodville Down But Not Out

Adam and his 1964 six-wheeler delivering feed for livestock.

RESCUERS and emergency workers have applauded the community of Woodville after it was isolated by flood waters on the morning of Friday 8 July.

When Taylor’s Bridge went underwater, Woodville was on its own.

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The Woodville Store remained open during the area’s isolation to service the community, providing essential food and supplies via boat.

Owner of The Woodville Store Zoey Kirwan said, “The community stayed positive and worked together to get through this time.

Woodville resident Murray Hicks started a thread in the community’s Facebook group reporting local road conditions.

This allowed everyone to stay across the ever-changing road conditions as river levels increased.

Mr Hicks said, “Most of us have been through this before and we always band together through these hard times.
“It’s a great community and a very special place.”

Another community member used his personal photography equipment to capture footage he then shared with government agencies to provide up-to-date situational awareness in the area.

Adam Benson, a resident from the nearby suburb of Glen Oak, became aware of Woodville’s isolation and the need for a high-clearance vehicle to deliver feed for livestock.

Adam used his six-wheeled 1964 Army Mac Truck to deliver essential fodder from Hicks Hay and Grain into areas that could not be accessed by car.

Glen Oak resident Adam Benson said, “All of us are presented with opportunities in life to be a vehicle of God’s love into another person’s life, whether it be through a kind word or an act of charity. Adam Lindsay Gordon said ‘Two things stand like stone, kindness in another’s trouble, courage in your own’.”

Parts of Woodville became re-accessible on the morning of Wednesday 13 July, however some parts remained isolated around Paterson Road.

As floodwaters receded, NSW SES Port Stephens crews delivered donated goods to community members in need.

Alysha Springett, Deputy Unit Commander and Media Officer SES Port Stephens told News Of The Area, “The SES pass on their thanks to Raymond Terrace Salvation Army, FOOD WAR Inc, and Maitland Family Support for their donations to the community.

“During Woodville’s week-long isolation, the NSW SES received only two calls for assistance, one for essential medication and the other for critical supplies,” she said.

The Woodville community’s resilience enabled NSW SES volunteers to perform rescues, medical evacuations, emergency-supplies delivery, critical transport, levee damage repairs, area reconnaissance and to disseminate information across Port Stephens while tending to other emergencies.

“It is incredible how the community of Woodville came together to support each other during floods. Such a great example of true community resilience,” said Ms Springett.

“There were many acts of kindness, generosity and mateship throughout the local community, with people going above and beyond to support one another.”

Woodville store owner Michael Kirwan said of the emergency, “Our community banded together and did what we had to do for each other. We always have and we always will.”


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