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As flooding threatens Sydney's west, here's why some people are not evacuating

By Kathleen Ferguson, Monday March 22, 2021 - 21:52 AEDT

As his mates banded together to sandbag a garage full of priceless memories, Jason Adams struggled to hold back tears. 

?I?ve got all my mum and dad?s stuff, they have passed away,? he said. 

?These boys are all helping me out, trying to protect it.? 

It had been raining all day and flood waters had already partly swallowed a car parked out the front of his home in South Windsor, in Sydney's north west.

He has lived in the Church Street home for 29 years and has never seen anything like it.

Water inched up the driveway as his partner and children prepared to leave, following warnings to get ready to evacuate.

But for Mr Adams, leaving isn't an option. 

?It?s all special to me. My life, my whole life, I have done everything I could to protect it,? he said.

His youngest daughter, Katelyn, had been at their neighbours' house across the road, helping her friend rescue their animals from rising waters.

?We jumped in there and had to get the birds," Ms Adams said. 

She said her friend, Chloe Panman, kept screaming when objects under the water in the backyard bumped into her.

?It was sort of funny, because she [Chloe] kept walking and stepping on stuff and stuff kept touching her,? Ms Adams said. 

?This is the highest it has ever come in the 11 years I have lived here.?

Ms Panman said the rising water in her street was scary, but exciting at the same time.

?I was really scared that my animals would get hurt and that we would get hurt but I was also excited to see all this happen in real life,? she said. 

The girls helped rescue birds, guinea pigs and dogs.

They were also prepared to extract Buck the bunny who safe for the time being, after being elevated to higher ground in the back shed.

?Just imagine everything that is on the ground is just floating in a completely different spot and it is just unknown of what is underneath the water,? Ms Panman said. 

The 13-year-old?s grandfather, Martin Knibbs, said he was ready to weather the storm.

?We have sand-bagged all the doors down the house there and we got rid of all the animals, they have all gone to my son?s place,? Mr Knibbs said. 

He said the swollen Rickabys Creek one block behind the property "hardly runs" and could not usually be spotted from his back deck.

Mr Knibbs said living on a floodplain was worth it, even though there would be some damage. 

?Insurance doesn?t cover anything because it?s a floodplain,? he said.

?Clean up, that?s all you can do.?  

He said his family was ready to go if necessary, but were willing to wait it out. 

?Weathering the storm, mate, weathering the storm,? he chuckled. 

Across the road, Georgina Hoy was feeling relaxed about the rising waters as she watched on with neighbours standing at the end of Church Street. 

She has lived on the street for 33 years, and said the flood was a lot slower than the 1998 flood. 

Ms Hoy said she and her son had to swim horses out of flood waters back then, and now her primary concern was having enough food for her cats. 

?I think it is because I have got no kids at home to worry about," she said.

Ms Hoy said the sense of community in her street also made her more relaxed.

?We will be fine, I think ? we all stick together in this street," she said.

?I lost my husband a year ago, so this is like my family.? 

She watched on as people raced to barricade a lifetime?s worth of memories at Mr Adams place just two doors down.

?He?s got a lot [of keepsakes], which you need in life, to have memories.? 


© ABC 2021

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