During late March, the far northern region of New South Wales where we live and work, was devastated by floods associated with Tropical Cyclone Debbie. The flooding deluge came with little warning and little time for many families to protect their possessions and homes. The lives of thousands of people living in our local community and beyond were turned upside down. People lost belongings, livestock, crops and their livelihoods. They truly had the wind knocked out of their sails.
We lived through the floods mostly unscathed. Our home was out of the flood zone and our beloved Doña Cholita Tortilleria in Burringbar was spared. Many people we have come to know in Burringbar and surrounds were affected in one way or another by the deluge and corresponding floodwaters. We wanted to find a way to ‘give back’ to those people in the local community who had welcomed and supported us in growing our fledgling business.
Like everyone else in the community, we did lose our electricity supply to the tortilleria during the storm and flood. The tortilleria uses electricity 24 hours a day to run the cold room in which we store our corn tortillas. Unfortunately, the break in electricity supply meant we lost our most recent batch of corn tortillas being stored in the cold room. We were adamant that we did not want to send the tortillas to landfill and so we donated them to various collection points and community centres in the local area to feed those people who had been evacuated from their homes and who were without a meal. We were blessed to have been practically untouched by the utter destruction around us. We were doubly blessed to have been able to offer food to those who needed a meal.
When the weather cleared and the floodwaters receded, the devastation became more apparent. People spent days hosing away dirty floodwaters and piling their ruined household and personal items for rubbish. As a small gesture, we walked around the flood destruction zone in Burringbar and handed out our Totopos as snacks. It felt like it wasn’t enough so we asked the local butcher from Burringbar Quality Meats for a meat donation and the next day we walked around handing out tacos.
It’s great to live in a local community where everyone supports each other during hard times. We thank everyone in Burringbar and beyond who has done something to ‘give back’ to the local community and help those affected by the flood to get back on their feet.