When a barge laden with hay approached a semi-submerged rural property in Sydney’s outer suburbs on Wednesday, the horses didn’t wait for it to be unloaded, crowding around to munch on it straight off the boat.
The golden delivery is one of many going to Australia’s flood-affected rural properties – often delivered by neighbours and friends – isolated by the worst deluge recorded in the country’s east in more than half a century.
Deanne Thompson said the horses had been shifted to higher ground since the rain started to fall last week, and though there was plenty of grass, the horses preferred the hay.
“This is insane,” she told Reuters from the family property in the outer Sydney suburb of Lower Portland, holding her son Rider with blond curls on one hip.
“We’ve been hoping that the house is going to withhold and it has, so we are very, very fortunate, unlike some, but all the creature comforts are all gone.”
Located near the Hawkesbury River, a major catchment that surrounds Australia’s most populated city of Sydney, the Thompson home is still standing, although road access has been cut.
While wet weather conditions eased on Wednesday, rivers are still bulging and dams overflowing, causing floodwaters in many areas to keep rising.
Homes have been submerged, livestock swept away and crops inundated on a large scale. There have also been many animal rescues, with water craft used to move dogs, cattle, and even an emu, to safer ground.
“This is when the community comes together and we all look after each other and help each other out the best we can,” said Thompson of her neighbours who delivered the hay.
“I just wish I could offer a hot shower for everybody,” she said with a laugh.