Couple's eight-hour rescue ordeal
LYNNE Hay called it the most terrifying day of her life.
She and her husband Brian spent almost eight hours stranded on the roof of their flooded home on a property 75km from Taroom before they were finally airlifted to safety.
The Hays were having a cuppa on their property “Gunnado” in the Glen Haughton area on December 27 when Robinson Creek, which runs right near their home, started to quickly rise.
They quickly let their dogs off their chains and let the chickens out but that was about all they had time for before running inside to grab some things like mobiles and wallets.
Water was at waist height so they climbed on top of their roof around 9.30am and phoned their children that live just outside Taroom.
“If we didn't get out then we wouldn't have made it,” Lynne said.
Brian said the water rose so quickly.
“We were in trouble in about 15 minutes,” Brain said.
“We had no time; we had no idea the water was coming.”
Lynne said she was praying the house would not be moved off the stumps.
It continued to rain all day while they waited for help to arrive.
One helicopter finally arrived, but was unable to rescue them with trees hampering efforts.
As the chopper flew away, the hearts of the stranded couple sank.
“It was horrifying — I thought we would not get rescued,” Lynne said.
The chopper returned with a chainsaw and the trees were cut, allowing them to finally be airlifted to safety in Taroom.
“It was the most terrifying day of my life,” Lynne said.
Brian estimates at least 2.5 metres of flood waters tore through their home and they have lost everything including most of their possessions in their house as well as two cars, two trucks and two tractors.
They have been unable to return to see the damage due to the condition of the road with huge wash-outs and council unable to access it.
Their children transported four-wheel bikes as far as they could and then went 20km to access their parents' farm.
They had to have a neighbour lift the bikes with a tractor across a flooded causeway and could not even drive up to the house, having to lift generators and supplies walking on a fallen tree over a gully full of water.
The family stayed for three days to clean up the mess, helped by neighbours.
The couple said they wanted to thank everyone who helped them.
Their clean up will take months — first gaining access, then restoring power, as their solar panels were damaged.