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Sydney weather subsides, storm clean-up begins with fish finding its way home in flash flooding


November 29, 2018 06:30:56

There was a bright spot amid the solemn storm clean-up that began in Sydney yesterday afternoon.

"She's alive," Natali Pearson screamed. "I can not believe it, Jasmyn survived."

Five hours earlier a torrent of water had ripped through Ms Pearson's mother's home on Sydney's north shore, turning the backyard into a lake.

Ms Pearson had received a one-word text message – "HELP" – from her mother Sheridan Rogers in the morning and raced over to pick up the pieces.

Parts of the city received more than a month's worth of rain in an hour as the deluge caused chaos on roads and sparked more than 1,500 calls for help to the NSW State Emergency Service.

But amid the carnage – and the thousands of dollars worth of damage to Ms Rogers' man – there was something to smile about.

Jasmyn the fish was in the nextdoor neighbour's yard, flapping about and clinging to life.

The flash flood was so powerful that lifted Jasmyn from his home in Ms Rogers' pond and dumped her over the fence.

"Quick grab a bucket," Ms Rogers yelled at Billy Gleeson, who lives three doors up.

A Champagne cooler was the first thing they could lay hands on, and Jasmyn was swiftly delivered back to her husband.

"My granddaughter is going to be happy," Ms Rogers said, as Jasmyn was reunited with some of her friends.

"The fish is named after her."

The moment was a bright spot in an otherwise dark day for an unlucky group of residents on Lytton Street in leafy Cammeray, who were among the worst hit by yesterday's storms.

Four properties were swamped by a flash flood that burst through backyards and into homes.

Sarah O'Callghan woke up to find her living room under water.

"I could not believe it," she said, pointing to the high-water mark on her wall.

"I heard the water gush through the backyard, it took about five minutes to fill up and came inside.

"There was nothing I could do."

Next door, Michael Flude was waiting for his insurance company to arrive.

"Do not worry about that," he said, as visitors trieded to politely wipe foot on the welcome mat outside his front door.

"You do not need it."

It soon became apparent why.

Mr. Flude's lounge room looked as though it had been ransacked by a large group of muddy burglars.

His soggy sofa was in the kitchen, surrounded with portable fans.

Their puffing was not making much difference.

"The water was so powerful," Mr Flude said.

"It was extrodinary."

The damage on Lytton Street was caused by a temporary river that developed near the top of a nearby park and swept downhill.

The force was so strong it ripped gates off their hinges, and flooded the laundry complex of an apartment block.

Back at Ms Rogers' place, the search for fish continued – this time underneath the house.

"There's more, I've found some," Ms Pearson shouted.

Her mother managed to smile and laugh, as she carefully placed another batch back in her pond.

There were still 13 missing.

"Oh God," Ms Rogers said, looking underneath her house.

"How are they going to get the water out from under there? My air conditioning and heating system is gone.

"It's just a freak thing. I've never seen anything like it."

If she had not already forgotten the incident, no doubt Jasmyn the goldfish would agree.




First posted

November 29, 2018 05:39:34

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