Posted by Ian Ballantine
The incredible storm that swept through the Dandenong Ranges on the late evening of June 10th left a trail of devastation and destruction behind it and the nine or ten D9810 Rotary Clubs in the Hills in particular, were greatly affected.
Once communications had been re-established, PDG Alma Reynolds and DG Daryl Moran met online with AG’s and the various Club Presidents to hear first-hand about the situation. It was not long before help was on its way in the form of volunteer assistance and practical items to cope in the difficult circumstances. Rotarians from our District distributed supplies to various collection hubs, prepared meals for other community service organisations and our District along with various clubs and individuals, contributed funds to the Hills clubs so that they in turn could apply the donations to those in need. But looking to the long term, D9810 has established a Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS) fund raising effort designed to be used in time for Community Recovery Projects. A Project team headed by our RAWCS District Chair Alan Lunghusen (RC Rowville-Lysterfield) and our District Community Chair Bernadette Vanderwolde (RC Boronia) will work with our Hills clubs in partnership with others to bring these projects to fruition in the latter part of this year and early 2022. The campaign will conclude at the end of July, but already many of our Clubs and individuals have made significant contributions to the appeal. It should also be noted that organisations such as Yarra Valley Water and Rotary Districts in Tasmania (9830) and Western Victoria (9780) have also made contributions. Donations can be made through links on our District Facebook page, the RAWCS website or by following this link.
To date we have received over $45,000 in donations.
Following his attendance at a meeting conducted by the Yarra Ranges Council on Thursday 8th July, D9810 Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS) Chair, Alan Lunghusen provided the following information about the Storms of June 9/10 and their aftermath. I hope this material will be noted by all clubs and members as we seek to add to our funds for our ‘Rotary Dandenong Ranges Storm Recovery Project,’ which closes on 31st JULY.
  1. 95 people were trapped in their houses or cars and needed SES assistance to extract them.
  2. Some of the trees that were uprooted were up to 300 years old.
  3. Some 670 Kms of roads have been impacted.
  4. 47 different agencies are now active in the Dandenong Ranges working on recovery efforts.
  5. Many businesses are receiving no help from the Victorian Government, because they have not had their property damaged by the storm.
  6. These businesses have not been able to trade since the storm due to Government road-blocks not allowing visitors to pass through.
  7. If a property has been given a generator, then they are not eligible for any further help.
  8. It is estimated that it will take 18 months to clean up the remaining debris and damage.
The Storm of 10th June 2021 is now regarded as the most devastating storm event in Victoria’s recorded history!
This is OUR District, these are OUR Clubs and these are OUR Communities!