Forced to flee floods

By BELINDA SCOTT

JAY Rogers and Sherrie Gosper said finding their house going underwater at 4am yesterday was a truly terrifying experience.

The young Coramba couple and three-year-old son D-Jay were rescued by a Coffs Harbour State Emergency Services flood boat after their Eastbank Road farmhouse 7km north of Coramba was engulfed by chest-deep water in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Coffs Harbour SES controller Bob White said the family was taken to safety at 7am yesterday by the SES flood boat crew.

Mr Rogers said he used the last of the fading battery on his mobile phone to call the SES after the family was woken by a bubbling noise and a dreadful smell and found their furniture floating and their A-frame house surrounded by a sea of black water.

Late yesterday they were still trying to come to terms with the fact that they had lost everything.

Mr Rogers said because of the shape of the house, everything except their beds was downstairs, including their washing machine and clothes.

He said a motor bike, lawnmower, chainsaw and irrigation pumps had also gone under water

Mr Rogers said he had pushed his way through chest-high black water to untie their pony and rescue their turkeys, but he was sure they had lost their fowls and their pet rabbit to the water.

He found their three dogs Ace, Sook and Woolly huddled on a lounge floating on the front veranda and their special pet turkey Gobblegob, was rescued from the mud.

He said the family had been living in the house, on the bank of a small tributary of the Orara River, for almost three years and had never had water in the house.

"I was worried I didn't know how fast the water was rising," Mr Rogers said.

Sherrie Gosper said one of the most depressing features of the experience was having the septic tank overflow through the house with the floodwater, ruining possessions and creating a dreadful stench.

Jay had just spent a saved $3000 on a car and the young couple had no insurance. "I just want to go home and sit on my own lounge," he said.

"It's funny one flood can take away everything you've saved for."

For this family, it isn't funny at all.

Yesterday they were grateful to DOCS for providing them with changes of clothing and to Mr Rogers' mother for wedging an extra family into her small Coffs Harbour house.

But they need furniture, clothes, household appliances and accommodation to live in until they can get their own place cleaned up - and a car.

Twenty three year old Jay Rogers is taking part in a work for the dole program which means he works in Coffs Harbour four days a week.

Anyone who can help can contact Jay Rogers on 0447 020346 or his mother Christine Rogers on 66527459.



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