The devastation from rain and floodwater in the Northern Rivers is heartbreaking to see.
Not just from an agricultural perspective - fences and roads destroyed, plantations submerged and whole herds of dairy cows lost - but from a human one as well.
The true cost of this flood, which the NSW Premier called a "one in 1000 year event", will be enormous.
These floodwaters are another devastating blow for regional New South Wales and the latest in a streak of natural disasters to challenge communities and local businesses.
The word 'unprecedented' is becoming all too common in recent years with the current floodwaters surpassing historic levels after three years of natural fury:
The Black Summer bushfires, the flooding and storm events that bookended 2021, a global pandemic that has entered its third year, and the mouse plagues of 2020 and 2021.
It is good to see a rapid response to this latest natural disaster; the state and federal governments have got the military involved supporting rescue efforts, a state response centre has been stood up quickly, and the SES volunteers on the ground are getting very well practiced at keeping our people safe.
This is the silver lining, perhaps, from all of the natural disasters - a system that is getting better at response.
We know though that there are big problems down the track when these floodwaters subside, and this is perhaps where there are still some lessons to learn.
The journey to recovery will be long, and the ongoing costs to affected communities must be front of mind for our leaders.
The toll of consecutive disasters is a serious concern.
Road repairs - both major highways and small back roads - will need to be expedited once the waters recede. Fences will need to be fixed, power lines replaced, mobile phone towers rebuilt.
On the farm, there will be enormous losses in terms of livestock, produce and equipment that will take time to replace and repair, soil that will need to be rehabilitated to come back to full production.
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