Rescue volunteers are forced to fight off SNAKES as they lunge out of floodwaters into their boats
- Rescue teams were travelling to family of six stranded on NSW’s mid-north coast
- They had to wade the last 400m through brown murky water in total darkness
- At least four snakes, spiders and other insects suddenly lunged into the life raft
- SES crews received 9,700 calls for help and were called to 870 flood rescues
Emergency crews on their way to rescue a family trapped in dangerous floodwaters were forced to fight off several snakes that lunged into their boat.
Rescue specialists from NSW Fire and Rescue were travelling through murky water to get to a family of six, including four young children, stuck at their house in Sancrox on New South Wales’ mid-north coast earlier this week.
The teams waded through the last 400m of water to reach the family in total darkness when suddenly at least four snakes swam into their life raft.
Rescue teams on their way to reach a stranded family were shocked when several snakes suddenly lunged into their life raft (pictured SES volunteers patrol floodwaters in Richmond near the Hawkesbury)
NSWFR Inspector Russell Turner said the snakes weren’t the only unwanted guests that tried to hitch a ride.
‘They had to remove some spiders, a couple of snakes and lots of insects before they could put the four children and two parents back on board and paddle them back to safety,’ he said.
‘They’re used to the hazards in the dark and in the water, and in times of flood all the animals try and get to safety and … they saw the raft as a safe place.’
Eventually the rescue teams were able to reach the family along with their three cats and bring them to safety.
Pest experts warned that spiders – and snakes – would be on the move across rain-stricken areas as they search for dry conditions, warning residents to be on the lookout for them in homes.
NSW Fire and Rescue teams are seen assisting during the NSW floods, getting children to safety across raging floodwaters
A flooded street is seen in Billinudgel in northern NSW as wild weather continues to batter the state
NSW SES workers are seen working through the night to carry out rescues as thousands are forced to evacuate
The SES on Tuesday morning reported crews attended 9700 calls for help across NSW, including 870 flood rescues as the state continues to be hammered by heavy rainfall.
Already, 34 NSW councils have declared natural disaster zones, with the powerful storm that lashed the state’s north coast and western Sydney now spreading to the Illawarra region on the south coast, where 100-200mm of rain was forecast across the region on Tuesday, peaking at 300mm in some parts.
Northwest of Sydney, around 200 residents were ordered to evacuate homes immediately on Tuesday morning as major flooding occurred along the Colo River in the Hawkesbury region.
Every mainland state and territory except Western Australia is subject to flood and weather warnings with the Australian Defence Force put on emergency standby.
Upstate communities in NSW are already facing the worst flooding conditions since 1929 and those along the Hawkesbury River are confronting the worst flooding since 1961, rising to 13m on Monday night to prompt further evacuations.
A number of towns across the state have been isolated for days, some without fresh water or power.
Roads have been cut off by flooding or closed, hundreds of homes inundated and more than 200 schools shut.
A semi-submerged playground is seen on the banks of the Nepean River in Penrith, in Sydney’s west
NSW Fire and Rescue on an inflatable raft help rescue stranded locals and animals