In a time of severe drought and disastrous bushfires, a NSW mum has found a drop of hope amid the devastating circumstances.
Nkala Frost, from Wollomombi in NSW’s New England region, for months has been confronted by bone dry dams and dust on the property where she lives with her family.
Not only have they been dealing with the extremities of the drought, but they were also forced to evacuate in November as a bushfire came within just eight kilometres of their home.
But on Thursday afternoon, Ms Frost and her family finally had a bit of respite, with the heaviest rainfall they’ve had in months drenching their usually withered surroundings.
It was an emotional moment for the family, with Ms Frost documenting it with pictures of her son and partner covered in mud – scenes which have virtually been non-existent in recent times.
“We got around 20mm. My son, he’s only two, he hasn’t really seen much rain,” Ms Frost told Yahoo News Australia.
“He wasn’t really sure about it, but my partner took him outside and he wasn’t sure what to do.
“My partner showed him and as soon as he got in and started jumping in the puddles Archie started doing the same thing and absolutely loved it.
“It was a feel-good moment.”
Ms Frost said Wollomombi had been extremely dry and had not seen any good rainfall in months.
But she says the latest downpour gives the community a glimmer of hope.
“It’s started to look a lot better thank God. We’re still not out of the woods yet, but any rain is better than no rain,” Ms Frost said.
“It was amazing – you don’t really see that much joy on children’s faces anymore. It just brought so much joy and happiness to (my son) and was just amazing to see him filthy in mud.”
Ms Frost said they have had a severe lack of rain and had to fill up their tanks twice with two big loads of water, which was costly for the family.
“It’s absolutely devastating. There’s really no words to describe it,” she said.
“It’s definitely hitting people in the community and most of our friends and family are on properties.
“There’s no green, it’s just all dirt, and they aren’t just struggling with the drought – the bushfires are hitting them too.”
The mum said slowly but surely they were starting to see a little more greenery and growth.
“Dams are overflowing, not all of them, but some of them. Most have water in them and they are not bone dry – we have to start somewhere and it’s finally starting,” she said.
Alarming graphics show lack of rainfall
Graphics of Australia were released earlier this week detailing the lack of rainfall across the nation – with large parts recording their lowest rainfall on record which “primed” parts of the country for the bushfire crisis.
December rainfall was the lowest on record across Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology confirmed on Wednesday.
One map depicting rainfall deficiency in the five months between August and December showed most of Queensland and NSW had either suffered a severe deficiency or their lowest on record.
A lack of rain has proven devastating for the two states’ rural and urban dwellers which have been ravaged by drought and has fuelled the ongoing bushfire crisis in southeast Australia.
Photos from Sydney’s Centennial Park on Tuesday highlighted the harsh reality of no significant rain.
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