RFS volunteer finds pearls lost in floods, returns them to thankful Woodburn woman

ABOVE: Valla RFS volunteer Frank Nunnari returns the lost pearls to the woman from Woodburn who thought they had been washed away in the floods. Photo: NSW RFS

Susanna Freymark

For almost two weeks, Rural Fire Service crews have driven to flood areas to hose out mud from shops and houses.

Urbenville, Casino and Bonalbo RFS were in Coraki. Old Bonalbo RFS helped hose out houses in Woodburn.

Casino East and Urbenville RFS hose the Coraki Bowling Club. Photo: Contributed

Casino East, Mallanganee, Kyogle, Tomki and many others helped across the region, their crew names emblazoned on the fire trucks as they headed into disaster areas to help.

These volunteers worked for days and into weeks.

NSW RFS headquarters said crews from across the state came to the region to help with the clean-up.

Emergency services and the army working together during the flood disaster. Photo: Contributed

Valla RFS volunteer Frank Nunnari was one of them and he was in Woodburn.

“Yesterday, we had to clean the inside of a house. Water was just over the doors,” Frank said.

“When we got there a woman was sitting in a chair with tears in her eyes when she saw us coming.

“We said – ‘We’re here to help, where do you want us to start?’

She asked us to keep an eye out for a “tiny bag with a set of pearls in it”.

The woman figured with the amount of water that came through, she would have to face the fact they were gone, Frank said.

As the Valla crew were cleaning the house, Frank spotted something stuck to the veranda floor.

“It was a little bag covered in mud with the pearls inside,” he said.

“I gave them to her and she started to cry, and so did l.”

RFS crews from Sydney drove 40 motorhomes to Casino and returned on the bus. Photo: Contributed

RFS crews from outside the region were:

Aldavilla

Angledale

Armidale Dumaresq Shire

Ashley

Batemans Bay

The Bays

Beacon Hill

Belrose

Blackheath

Blaxland

Blayney

Blue Mountains

Bolwarra Heights

Bonville

Bowthorpe

Broulee

Bulk Water

Bullaburra

Bulli

Bungendore

Candelo

Canobolas

Carwoola

Castlereagh

Central Coast

Charmhaven

Chifley/Lithgow

Coal and Candle

Coomba Park

Cooranbong

Cootamundra

Coramba

Dapto

Davidson

Deepwater

Diggings

Dundee

Dunmore

Eastern Creek

Edinglassie

Empire Bay

Eungai

Faulconbridge

Galston

Gangat

Ganger

Gladstone

Glen Innes

Glennies Creek

Gosford

Great Mackerel Beach

Gwandalan

Heathcoate HQ

Horsley Park

Hunter Region

Illawarra

Illawong

Ingleside

Jacks Creek

Jerrabomberra

Jerrabomberra Creek

Katoomba Leura

Kentucky

Kulnura

Lake George

Lake Macquarie

Lawson

Llandilo

Lochinvar

Loftus

Londonderry

Lynwood Park

Macarthur District

Maianbar

Maitland Vale

Malua Bay

Mandalong

Mangrove Cay

Mannering Park

Marsden Park

Matcham

McCullys Gap

Medlow Bath

Merimbula

Mid Coast Group

Moree

Moruya

Mt Riverview

Mt Tomah

Mulgoa

Mullaway

Myall Vale

Nabiac

Namoi

Narara

New England

North Rothbury

Northern Beaches

Oak Flats

Orana

Orange

Orara

Orchard Hills

Otford

Pacific Palms

Pearl Beach

Plumpton

Red Hill

Regentville

Ridgeway

Sancrox

Sandy Beach

Somersby

South Katoomba

South West Slopes

Southern Border Team

Southern Highlands

Spring Hill

Springside

Steinbrook

Stroud Road

Tamworth

Taree

Terrey Hills

Thornton

Tumbledown Dick

Tuross Head

Valla

Valley Heights

Wadalba

Wakefield

Wallarah

Wamboin

Warialda

Warnervale

Warringah

Wauchope

Wedderburn

Wentworth Falls

Whittingham

Winmalee

Woodford

Wootton

Wyndham

Wyong

Young

Thank you for being here to help us.

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