For two weeks in a row now the weather has been reminding us in the most sobering and dramatic way of the importance of what we do here at EWN. The East Coast Lows that first battered the Illawarra, Hunter and Sydney regions, and then the South East Queensland region between them claimed at least 10 lives and caused millions of dollars worth of property damage and business interruptions. The number of animals including farm stock, domestic pets and wildlife that lost their lives at this stage remains uncounted.
The NSW ECL event saw us mobilise drones and Riverview360 in the immediate aftermath to capture footage that can be used to analyse the flooding which occurred and where the impacts were most keenly felt. It also allows those remote from the devastation to see exactly how profound the impacts of this weather event were. We also had our duty managers, alert operators, forecasters and media posters active throughout the weather event keeping everyone updated.
Then Huey struck again, with the SEQ ECL, which our forecasters saw coming from April 27. The team stood up from that time ready to deploy via social media, alerts and on-ground monitoring and reporting. Many thanks to our duty managers, alert operators, forecasters, media posters and the on road rapid response team including vehicles, boat, UAV and streetview camera operators for putting in such a superhuman effort to keep all our clients and app users and social media followers informed – and most importantly – safe.
When our alerts mean someone knows roads are closed and they should avoid driving where flash flooding is happening, that’s also one less rescue for our hardworking emergency services volunteers.
Our weather experts believe we may be seeing these kinds of cold weather cyclones for some time to come, which in turn means the EWN team might be in for a very active autumn and early winter.
We would like to thank everyone who sent in such good feedback about the alerts during and immediately after the two severe ECL storm events. It means the world to us. It also means we’re doing our job – helping protect the lives of you, your family and friends, and your property.