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A young man who was trolled after his home was swept away in floodwaters on what should have been his wedding day has been reunited with items that belonged to his late brother.
Joshua Edge and his fiance Sarah Soars, from Taree on the New South Wales mid north coast, thought they were waking up on Saturday morning to celebrate what should have been the happiest day of their lives.
But the wedding didn’t ahead due to a catastrophic once-in-a-lifetime storm wreaking havoc on the region.
Their home was filmed as it was washed away due to rising floodwaters and the couple had several pets who all disappeared – and presumably died – in the carnage.
While the community have come together to raise almost $70,000 to get them back on their feet, they’ve also been subjected to vicious trolling because they rented the home and did not own it.
Joshua and Sarah lost their house on the very day they were supposed to be celebrating their wedding
Joshua Edge and his fiance Sarah Soars, from Taree on the New South Wales mid north coast, thought they were waking up on Saturday morning to celebrate what should have been the happiest day of their lives
They’d lived in the property for a lengthy period of time and everything they’d ever owned was inside when it was swept away, including several irreplaceable belongings Mr Edge was given after the sudden death of his brother, Michael.
Michael was just 20 when he was killed in a tragic car accident in 2014.
His mother, Carrol, said he was only travelling 70km/h at the time, but the ‘state of the road’ he was on at the time contributed to his death.
Mr Edge was ‘devastated at the thought of losing’ items that were sentimental to the family.
Hours after the house was swept away, several residents identified an enormous timber chest that had washed up along the flooded Manning River.
They managed to heave the drawers out of the lake and contact Mr Edge, who confirmed it was in fact his.
Carrol later explained the chest that washed up contained some of the personal items belonging to her late son and was overwhelmed that they had been returned.
The young couple’s home was seen floating down the Manning River in Taree
While the community have come together to raise almost $70,000 to get them back on their feet, they’ve also been subjected to vicious trolling because they rented the home and did not own it
Michael (pictured) was just 20 when he was killed in a tragic car accident in 2014
Locals are still on the lookout for anything that washes ashore that could belong to the family.
Within just 24 hours, the community rallied to raise almost $70,000 to help the couple get back on their feet.
Mr Edge’s brother, who started a GoFundMe page in their honour, revealed on Sunday that while most of the donors were sympathetic, the couple were getting trolled for failing to reveal that they rented the home and did not own it.
‘We need to clarify that Joshua and Sarah did not own the home that floated down the river. They were renting and had been living there for a while,’ his brother explained.
‘It truly did not enter my mind to state this… I apologise if this has made anyone feel misled.’
Their home was filmed as it was washed away due to rising floodwaters and the couple had several pets who all disappeared – and presumably died – in the carnage
Floodwaters in Port Macquarie are seen as residents are told to evacuate after a freak weather event (pictured on Saturday)
Port Macquarie is now almost underwater as the town is lashed with a huge downpour of rain
A car is seen submerged in water as wild storms continue to batter NSW’s coast
He explained that Saturday was ‘a hectic and emotional day’ for everybody, and that the couple lost everything they owned – including their cars and pets – when the house was destroyed.
The couple have been accused of animal abuse for not doubling back to save their pets, but explained they had no way of knowing what was to come when they left the house a day earlier.
‘Joshua’s animals… were like his kids. If we thought for a second beforehand… everything would be gone, animals would have been our first priority.’
Harrowing footage captured the moment the house was swept downstream as mini tornadoes, intense rainfall and localised flooding were also reported elsewhere in the state.
The rain isn’t expected to ease up at all on Saturday (pictured Port Macquarie)
The Hastings River flooding in Port Macquarie, NSW is pictured on Saturday morning – as millions brace for a weekend of endless wild weather
The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe weather warning covering an area from the mid-north coast to the far south coast of NSW as well as Canberra.
Speaking in an emergency press conference, state premier Gladys Berejiklian said the ‘extreme weather event’ would persist well into next week – with rain not due to stop until Thursday or Friday.
‘The last time we got major floods in the NSW the weather event passed in two or three days, unfortunately, this will be a deep-seated, extreme weather event,’ she said.
‘This is an event that will not be going away in the next few days.’
The weather bureau warned of intense rainfall ‘potentially leading to life-threatening flash flooding’ and damaging winds averaging 60-70km/h with gusts exceeding 90km/h.
A ‘mini-tornado’ left a huge path of destruction through Chester Hill in Sydney’s west, damaging several homes and bringing down a tree
A koala at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital had a bit of a soaking on Saturday morning during the wild weather
A petrol station in Port Macquarie is seen completely covered in water as dangerous storms batter NSW
Source: DailyMail AU