'The best medicine': Touching story behind photo of nurses staring out window

Tom Flanagan
News Reporter

While the farmers of drought-stricken regions of NSW and Queensland have been hit hardest by the prolonged absence of rain, rural communities as a whole are struggling to get by.

Regional communities have been ravaged by the harsh conditions, with the drought taking its toll on the economy of small towns and the mental welfare of those who live there.

“The problem is it’s not just the farmers affected, it’s the people in the towns too,” drought volunteer Melissa Turner told Yahoo News Australia previously.

“Shops and businesses are closing and those who worked as farmhands and other jobs have been laid off, so they’re struggling now too,” she said.

Five nurses gaze out a window in Tamworth as rain begins to fall. Source: Facebook/ Ria Larkin

Communities have done their best to stay strong and support each other, wishing day by day for the rain to eventually come.

And that support was encapsulated in a touching image shared to social media this weekend as prayers were answered and rain began to fall across large parts of Australia’s east.

As 27mm fell in the NSW town of Tamworth in just two hours on Saturday, five nurses were forgiven for their immediate intrigue as the rain finally arrived.

One of the nurses shared the image to Facebook of herself and four other colleagues gazing out of a window after donning their scrubs and surgical caps.

“This photo speaks a thousand words,” one person commented as hundreds flocked to the post to reveal their relief and joy over the rain.

“We all got very excited,” nurse Ria Larkin, who took the image, admitted.

“The best medicine for everyone,” another person added.

Dozens of communities across the two states welcomed significant rainfall as the conditions gave them a little reprieve from months on end with no rain at all.

Miriam Vale, where the Central Queensland town’s Baffle Creek water source was expected to dry out by Christmas, received 95mm by 7am on Saturday.

However the Bureau of Meterology's Dean Narramore warned a prolonged period of rain is needed to come close to breaking the drought.

"In the last six months we've had very little rain so we've got to catch up on that," he told AAP on Saturday.

"We need hundreds and hundreds of millimetres over many months."

Drought-stricken land in border town Stanthorpe. Source: AAP

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