• Tony Bosworth

Hawkesbury Floods Lost and Found – reuniting people with their property

When Cumberland Reach resident Richie Benson saw pontoons, caravans, fridges, doors, shipping containers, buoys, water tanks, boats, kayaks, dog kennels, and even a cubby house, floating by his parents’ home he decided to do something about it.

Richie, 23, and a Senior Field Officer with National Parks and Wildlife Service, told the Post, “we certainly had some tense moments as water began impacting on Mum and Dads' place but were fortunate it stayed at the 1990 flood level and never reached the house.”

But then Richie noticed the massive amount of other peoples’ possessions flowing down the swollen river.

Richie Benson

“Putting a monetary value on the possessions which floated by was impossible,” he said.

“Everything from pontoons, caravans, fridges, doors, shipping containers, buoys, water tanks, boats, kayaks, dog kennels and even a cubby house went floating by.

“We tried to secure any items we could in the safest way possible and after bringing a kid’s kayak back to shore, I decided, this is crazy, we have to get these possessions back to their owners.

“The environmental impact of all this debris will be huge and there are so many broken people across the Hawkesbury right now.”

So Richie immediately set-up a Facebook group called Hawkesbury Floods Lost and Found and begun inviting friends who live, work and play on and around the river.

The page quickly took hold and after only two days had 2300 very appreciative members.

Lost...and found

One example of a success story is this rather nice dock which was wrenched by the flood waters from the banking at Ebenezer, and thanks to messages on the Facebook site was found at St George Bay and is now being reunited with its owners.

“I’m not sure how much has been returned to its rightful owners,” says Richie, but more and more I am seeing our community come together and find what they’re looking for.”

“During a community BBQ in Cumberland Reach, I spoke with the grandfather of the emotional little girl which saved her pocket money to buy her own kayak,” said Richie.

“That reminded me why this group is so important.”

If you have lost, or found, property floating down the rivers, jump on Facebook and get to Hawkesbury Floods Lost and Found here – you may well be reunited.

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