Australian rescuer says mass flooding is 'heartbreaking'

STORY: "Obviously there's a bit of despair with some people and a lot of people have only just gone through the whole process of getting their places cleaned up, getting all the renovations and things fixed up and replaced from the previous floods earlier this year," said Collin Britton, while driving a SES boat with his companion Bennett Evans along the flooded Hawkesbury River looking for anyone needing assistance or who may be trapped in their homes. The area has been pounded with torrential rain for the past four days, forcing thousands of people from their homes.

The two men are part of the SES Primary Rescue Unit and along with almost 9,000 volunteers are operational 24 hours a day for the entire year.

Torrential rains since Saturday (July 2) continue to dump waters into river catchments around Sydney, already near full capacity before the latest deluge, as authorities warned the floods crisis could extend until early next week.

Australia's east coast weather has been dominated by the La Nina phenomenon, typically associated with greater rainfall, for two years in a row. La Nina ended in June, but there is a 50-50 chance it may return later this year, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

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