March 2021 floods: Region digs deep as GoFundMe campaigns soar past $250,000

Chris Howard and his animals live at Rawdon Island west of Port Macquarie and on Friday night everything including livestock, machinery and his home was swept away. His GoFundMe page is here if you can help.
Chris Howard and his animals live at Rawdon Island west of Port Macquarie and on Friday night everything including livestock, machinery and his home was swept away. His GoFundMe page is here if you can help.

In the past 48 hours, almost a quarter of a million dollars has been raised on GoFundMe to support the Mid North Coast floods recovery efforts.

Over 75 fundraisers have been launched by, and in support of families, businesses and communities severely impacted.

GoFundMe has launched an East Coast Floods Hub which will be regularly updated with fundraisers verified by Trust and Safety specialists.

Vick and Mitch were provided a safe space at the Telegraph Point club after losing their home and belongings. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family rebuild. Photo: Kellie Morley.

Vick and Mitch were provided a safe space at the Telegraph Point club after losing their home and belongings. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family rebuild. Photo: Kellie Morley.

"Within hours of the first reports of devastation on the North Coast of NSW, we began to see heightened fundraising activity on GoFundMe to help with recovery and rebuilding efforts for families, businesses and communities," Nicola Britton, regional manager at GoFundMe Australia said.

"The response was immediate and Aussie generosity has shone through during these difficult times to raise thousands for instant needs and rebuilding efforts.

"As extreme weather events continue to impact Australian communities, GoFundMe specialists will continue to work with those on the ground to support fundraising efforts for urgent supplies, services and the ongoing recovery."

Miss Nellie's Cafe at Kendall.

Miss Nellie's Cafe at Kendall.

Among those are fundraisers for damaged local business including the popular Miss Nellie's cafe at Kendall.

The village favourite was wiped out by floodwaters with the building cracking under the pressure of water.

It's been a popular addition to the Kendall community for almost 10 years but for Jenelle Nosworthy it's back to the beginning.

Miss Nellie's Cafe at Kendall.

Miss Nellie's Cafe at Kendall.

The cafe at Kendall, about 30 minutes south of Port Macquarie, was inundated with floodwater after the Camden Haven River burst its bank in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Despite a committed effort by locals and friends to sandbag and protect the shop from the rising river levels, nothing could hold back the wall of water.

Although comprehensively insured, floods are not covered and the small family-owned business now faces the arduous task of repairing and restoring the 100-year-old building.

More than $18,200 has already been raised for the cafe's rebuild.

Whalebone Wharf on Hastings River Drive, Port Macquarie.

Whalebone Wharf on Hastings River Drive, Port Macquarie.

Also facing a rebuild is the Whalebone Wharf riverside restaurant in Port Macquarie.

With a prime waterfront location on Hastings River Drive, a surging mass of floodwater meant there was no hope of saving the popular dining venue which has hosted weddings, functions and other special events since its establishment in 1971.

Owner Nathan Tomkins said nothing could prepare them for the ferocity of the flood.

"On Friday, with a restaurant full of diners, the police ordered everybody to evacuate due to escalating flood waters and record breaking rainfall," he said.

"Within hours the restaurant was completely engulfed.The effects have been absolutely devastating.

"The restaurant has lost everything and will receive no insurance assistance. To rub salt on a wound, we had only just began to regain strength since the debilitating impact of COVID-19.

"We are determined to get through this."

Funds for a young couple at Taree have exceeded $100,000 after the home they were renting at Mondrook was washed down the Manning River on the day they were to be married.

It was a day Sarah Soars and Joshua Edge will remember for all the wrong reasons.

The home was owned by Tracia Milton and Peter Bowie who are said to be devastated their little cottage has been destroyed and a young couple's dreams ruined.

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This story Region digs deep as GoFundMe campaigns soar past $250,000 first appeared on Port Macquarie News.