6 June, 2016. 10:45
ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
PARTS OF THE EASTERN SEABOARD have been declared disaster zones as the federal government begins distributing silica packets to the worst-affected areas.
The silica packets are designed to draw moisture out of the air, drying out stale rooms and sodden gardens after some of the highest rainfall drenchings on record. They’ve been released via federal agencies to state organisations and governments around the country.
Officials from the NSW state government have released instructions with the silica packets, outlining how to best use them while they wait for more substantial assistance.
“Residents in these disaster areas should be receiving their silica packets in the coming hours,” said one spokesman.
“We advise people to throw the packets wherever there is wetness,”
“That should buy the State Emergency Service some time to get around to everybody.”
The silica packets couldn’t arrive earlier for Collaroy resident Esther Bloomberg, who’s lost most of the front of her seaside home to the ocean overnight.
Shortly before 6pm last night, the roof blew off her home and the elements wreaked havoc on the contents of her over-insured beach house.
She was one of nearly a hundred in the area who received the silica packets this morning.
“These are a godsend,” she said, wiping tears from her eyes.
“I thought I was going to have to throw my carpet out, but I’ve thrown a handful of these packets on the floor, which should save it. I’ve also sticky taped a few to the back of my television. Despite nearly 250mm of rain falling in my living room, I’m confident that everything should be salvageable,”
“I just want to thank the state government for their swift and comprehensive response to this terrible disaster,” she said.
Silica packets will continue to be rolled out in the coming days.