Three of our kids were evacuated from there homes during the fires. They all live in Winmalee which was the hardest hit.
When we got home from overseas our eldest daughter left for China and I was staying at their house minding the grans. I work up the road (about 5kms) from their house and on the really bad day of the fires was not allowed to go down Hawkesbury Rd towards their house. I hadn't been advised the fires were so bad or I would of gone down earlier. I had two grandsons at school and one with my son who also lives at my daughters..my other daughter and her two children also live not far from them on Hawkesbury Road..I had no choice but to go back to my home,pray and wait for news. Winmalee is one road in one road out.my other daughter works in Yellow Rock where another fire broke out and there isn't anyway out of there only back up thru where the fires were..I must say panic overtakes oneself when this kind of thing happens..
I knew they were all stay at the time and altogether .
I sat up all night watching the live reports but couldn't do anything .I then at 4am got a call from my son to say he had just been woken with hoses on the window and 5 fireman in his back yard telling him to get out quick..so he ran with my three grandsons (18 mths 4 and 6 year olds) back to my other daughters house where they would stay..I rang the fire station constant as I wanted to get to them ( of course) at 7 am I rang the police and I was able to get down hawkesbury rd which is about 8kms off the highway..we are about half hour 40 min drive up the mountain from them..I raced down with devastation house after house burnt to the ground..you can imagine when I walked into the room with all my grands sitting on the floor...I am a very emotional grandmother.
I evacuated them all to my house for safe keeping...but then the fires broke out at my work..we have 80 residents in the nursing home. Well we then had to evacuated them down to Penrith which us at the bottom of the mountain. This was no easy task.. 4 people died because of the move..it was
devastating as we had to squash all these people into two rooms. Mattresses on the floor. It looked just like a war zone.. Anyway everyone is now back where they should be but this community of Winmalee and Yellow Rock will never be the same..193 houses lost. And hundreds damaged. My kids grew up with friends that have lost everything..it's very very sad and now we are flooding in places and near freezing..we have had the wood fire on a couple of times...mother nature has a lot to answer to I believe...
It's a beautiful place to live but if it were not for my parents being here I would be gone...