13 December 2021

Call goes out for shoppers to support Mogo as community bands together to clean up after flood

| Tom McGann
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Simon Tadd and Max the dog sitting outside Gypsy's of Mogo store

Simon Tadd, owner of store Gypsy’s of Mogo, with Max the dog, still smiling despite a recent flood ruining stock in his store. Photo: Tom McGann.

Volunteers have pitched in to help Mogo businesses clean up after last week’s devastating floods, but the village will need financial support from locals and tourists to get back on its feet once again.

Devastated by the Black Summer bushfires and then floods two years ago, the small NSW South Coast community suffered another body blow on Friday, 10 December, when a deluge of rain saw Cabbage Tree Creek rise and inundate all but four of the village’s shops.

The water was described as hip-deep by some storeowners, with multiple businesses losing thousands of dollars’ worth of Christmas stock.

The flood was devastating for businesses still recovering from the Black Summer and the effects of COVID-19.

Flood damage to Gypsy's of Mogo

Flood damage to Gypsy’s of Mogo. Photo: Tom McGann.

Simon Tadd, owner of store Gypsy’s of Mogo, was just one person who saw his shop devastated by floodwater.

“It was hard enough to get stock in for Christmas due to COVID-19,” he said. “Now we have to throw most of it out.”

Despite the severity of the circumstances, Mr Tadd and other business owners were buoyed by the volunteers who turned up during the past weekend to help clean up the mess.

“It’s very nice to see,” said Mr Tadd.

“We have to get all the mud out and throw out stock, but having these people here helping makes the situation far easier.”

It was the same story at Mogo Wildlife Park, where tents at the camping ground were flooded.

The wildlife park works in conjunction with Great Camping Adventures, offering guests the opportunity to camp at the zoo.

Great Camping Adventures tents flooded at Mogo Wildlife Park

Great Camping Adventures tents flooded at Mogo Wildlife Park. Photo: Supplied.

Unfortunately, the floods completely took over the campsite, with nothing but the tops of tents rising from the water.

The business lost all its stretcher beds, fridges, two marquees and linen. All tents will also need to be replaced.

“We’re hoping to be back up and running by 27 December,” said a Great Camping Adventures spokesperson.

“We lost a lot of stuff but we’ve had a busy 72 hours saving what we can.”

A call for help on Facebook quickly brought volunteers who assisted with the clean-up.

The SES was also busy in the village. Caroline Booth, an SES member, explained that before stores could begin major clean-ups, they had to complete a ‘rapid damage assessment’, which would determine how deep the water was in the stores and whether it had affected the foundation of building structures.

SES workers with Mogo business owner

SES working with Mogo business owners after recent flooding. Photo: Tom McGann.

“We were here … when the flood hit and we had never seen it this high in Mogo before,” she said.

“It’s important we check the extent of the damage so people can start to clean their shops.”

To try and help the businesses get back on their feet, an online campaign has been revived to encourage people to shop in Mogo.

The campaign was created as result of the Black Summer bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic, but the floods now mean Mogo business owners need support from locals and tourists more than ever.

The organisers of Empty Esky have appealed to their followers to consider buying gift vouchers online from Mogo small businesses as they face a bleak Christmas.

Outgoing Member for Bega Andrew Constance has lent his weight to the campaign.

“Fires, pandemic, floods – it’s unimaginable,” he said. “Please shop at Mogo this Christmas.”

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Not all the mogo folk received help. There are home owners who lost everything to the fires and now to the floods. Only commercial properties received assistance. Very sad.

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