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The Duke of Cambridge has paid tribute to first responders helping communities deal with ‘truly horrendous’ flooding in Australia.

William heard first-hand about the impact of the floods which have devastated areas in and around New South Wales during a call with members of the emergency services and community leaders on Thursday.

The Duke expressed shock at the extent of the flooding, saying: ‘It’s just incredible the amount of water you guys must have put up with.’

The local State Emergency Services’ commander Ashley Slapp, who conducted more than 150 rescue missions in late February alone, said: ‘The team was phenomenally good.

‘They worked while their own houses were going underwater.

‘I asked them to stop on day four or five and said to them they needed a rest day, and their answer was ‘I can’t stop, I’ll think about what I’ve lost’.

‘So they kept going for the full eight days themselves.’

The Duke of Cambridge has paid tribute to first responders helping communities deal with 'truly horrendous' flooding in Australia (pictured during a call speaking to emergency responders and residents impacted)

The Duke of Cambridge has paid tribute to first responders helping communities deal with 'truly horrendous' flooding in Australia (pictured during a call speaking to emergency responders and residents impacted)

The Duke of Cambridge has paid tribute to first responders helping communities deal with ‘truly horrendous’ flooding in Australia (pictured during a call speaking to emergency responders and residents impacted)

William also heard from Jeanette Wilkins, a headteacher of a local primary school badly hit by the floods, who told him: ‘We’ve lost our school and everything in it.

‘For us, the most important thing was to make contact with our families and our children, and as fast as possible to set up a school somewhere just to get the children back to some form of normality and start dealing with their trauma.

‘We did that within three weeks of the flood and since then it’s just about working with the children and the trauma they’ve been through.

‘We’re two months down the track and nothing has changed, those 34 families are still displaced so there’s no certainty for those children.’

William heard first-hand about the impact of the floods which have devastated areas in and around New South Wales (pictured in March) during a call with members of the emergency services and community leaders on Thursday

William heard first-hand about the impact of the floods which have devastated areas in and around New South Wales (pictured in March) during a call with members of the emergency services and community leaders on Thursday

William heard first-hand about the impact of the floods which have devastated areas in and around New South Wales (pictured in March) during a call with members of the emergency services and community leaders on Thursday

The duke expressed shock at the extent of the flooding, saying: 'It's just incredible the amount of water you guys must have put up with.' SES volunteers pictured launching an inflatable rescue boat in Camden, South Western Sydney, in March

The duke expressed shock at the extent of the flooding, saying: 'It's just incredible the amount of water you guys must have put up with.' SES volunteers pictured launching an inflatable rescue boat in Camden, South Western Sydney, in March

The duke expressed shock at the extent of the flooding, saying: ‘It’s just incredible the amount of water you guys must have put up with.’ SES volunteers pictured launching an inflatable rescue boat in Camden, South Western Sydney, in March

After hearing their testimonies, William said: ‘You’ve all painted a picture of the scale of these floods, truly horrendous and really quite startling.

‘All of you are doing a fantastic job in your communities.

‘Whether it’s your business, your school, your community or in the emergency services, you’re all doing a brilliant job of being those figureheads and those leaders which your community sadly needs right now.

‘But on top of that make sure you look after yourselves.’

He added: ‘It’s hollow words from sat here in the United Kingdom but thank you and well done for everything you did.’

This year’s flooding in Australia is considered to be the worst since 2011, with meteorologist chief at Sky News, Tom Saunders, warning that the rain could batter the nation for the remainder of the year.

Floods and rain could batter Australia for the remainder of the year with two major weather events set to collide for the first time in 50 years, an expert has warned

Floods and rain could batter Australia for the remainder of the year with two major weather events set to collide for the first time in 50 years, an expert has warned

Floods and rain could batter Australia for the remainder of the year with two major weather events set to collide for the first time in 50 years, an expert has warned

La Niña generally ends sometime in mid-Autumn but it is expected to endure until the end of the season and bring plenty more rainfall

La Niña generally ends sometime in mid-Autumn but it is expected to endure until the end of the season and bring plenty more rainfall

La Niña generally ends sometime in mid-Autumn but it is expected to endure until the end of the season and bring plenty more rainfall

Two major weather events, La Niña, which is still sitting over the Pacific Ocean, and a negative Indian Ocean Dipole, which is brewing over the Indian Ocean, are set to combine.

This would mean increased rainfall and the risk of more major flooding across the country for the rest of 2022.

The last time the two weather systems combined was in 1974 and it marked the country’s wettest 365 days in 122 years. 

The two weather systems have only clashed three times in the past and each occasion are within Australia’s top 10 wettest years on record since 1900.

More than a year’s worth of rain has been dumped over south-east Queensland and northern NSW in the last three months. 

The last time the two weather systems combined was in 1974 and it marked the country's wettest 365 days in 122 years (pictured, forecast rainfall during winter)

The last time the two weather systems combined was in 1974 and it marked the country's wettest 365 days in 122 years (pictured, forecast rainfall during winter)

The last time the two weather systems combined was in 1974 and it marked the country’s wettest 365 days in 122 years (pictured, forecast rainfall during winter)

Source: Daily Mail

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