It was scenes local Nepean Football Association side Lowland Wanderers had never imagined would happen as their beloved Bensons Lane precinct, home to 350 players and 28 teams, was completely submerged by floodwaters during the devastating floods that ravaged Sydney in March this year.
Loyal Club President David Parkinson was shook with grief with what unfolded following the tumultuous rains that smashed the Hawkesbury region.
“Our club has been devastated by the recent flood event,” said Parkinson.
“Our building and fields were completely submerged by floodwaters (14 metres) for 5 days before the floodwater subsided.
“It then took another two weeks for the fields to dry out enough for anyone to be able to access the fields and our building. By the time we were granted access, unfortunately anything that may have been saved initially was ruined because it sat in mud/sludge etc for 2 weeks.
“We have lost everything (fridges, freezers, slushie machine, food/drink stock, merchandise, BBQ, pie warmer, food warmer, canteen drinks fridge which was only 9 months old) microwave, training aides/equipment, balls, goal nets, defibrillator, eftpos machine, cash register, signage, pop-up goals). We still don’t have electricity restored fully a month on.
“Additionally, and just as importantly, we are feeling quite removed from our football family.
“We are really missing the regular contact we have with them at our home ground seeing them on our fields training and playing.”
An estimated $35,000 worth of damage to the club’s equipment and $100,000 to its building and lightning is the grim aftermath on what were unpreceded scenes never before seen in the area.
As expected, clean-up has been in full swing but Parkinson and co needed to wait patiently before they were able to assist in starting from scratch post flooding getting the place back on track once more.
“Once granted access we have (so far) filled 5 skip bins with everything that was destroyed.
“We estimate a further 2 will be needed to clean up debris etc that is still littered on and around our fields.
“Our building needed commercial cleaners to come in and gurney the entire building and surrounding area.
“We have so far held 2 working bees and expect to hold at least another two to clean, repair and remove debris from grounds.”
The sights and sounds of watching the Lowland Wanderers do their thing on a weeknight at training and playing the game they love on weekends has been sorely missed with the precinct slowly coming back to life.
“Our fields/grounds sustained extensive damage due to being underwater for so long.
“Lots of repairs are needed on the playing surface to make them safe enough to play on again.
“Our lights were destroyed so we are unable to train at our fields until they are repaired.
“Our Premier League and Over 35s teams are unable to play their matches at home because we don’t have lights so until further notice will be playing all away games.
“We were able to hold day matches for the first-time last weekend for our MiniRoos games which was a huge relief for all.
“We have arranged with Nepean Football Association to play away games until grounds have been ‘cleaned sufficiently’ to return.
“All teams are training at alternate venues around the Hawkesbury district until lights are repaired.”
A Go Fund Me page has been set up to assist with Lowland Wanderers’ huge losses ahead of getting the club back on it’s feet.
“We would greatly appreciate donations of any kind.
“We have set up a GoFundMe page to receive financial donations.
“We are also seeking donations of any of the above goods to help us start to rebuild.”