Volunteers across the country have converged on the Hunter in one of the biggest flood responses the region has seen in years.
State Emergency Service (SES), Rural Fire Service, Fire and Rescue, Surf Life Saving clubs and flood technicians are among the volunteers that have stepped in to help at a challenging time.
Some of them have come from other parts of NSW, while more than 150 of them have travelled from Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, Queensland and even Western Australia.
"The local volunteers give so much but they still have to go back to their families and work, so having the interstate volunteers and workers coming in helps to bolster the numbers and inform the community about what's going on and what resources they have available to them," NSW SES public information officer Adam James said.
Mr James is normally stationed in Goulburn and made the trip up to Maitland help along with other members from the state's south west.
He was glad he could help make a difference and said that while the operation hadn't transferred into the recovery stage, he was hopeful that transition was just around the corner.
"We're not quite there just yet but we are hoping that as soon as the floodwaters go down Resilience NSW will be able to take over and help with the recovery of these communities," he said.
The clean-up from this flooding disaster will be extensive. Floodwaters continue to cut part of the New England Highway at Maitland and some communities, like Gillieston Heights, remained isolated until Cessnock Road opened late on Thursday.
The state and federal governments have stepped in with a range of support measures to help affected residents, businesses, farmers and community groups.
The measures include access to concessional interest rate loans, $1000 payments as well as grants up to $75,000 and transport subsidies for primary producers.
It's such a good feeling to be able to give back- Belinda Schultz, Tasmanian Fire Service
The support comes after the area received a Disaster Declaration.
Belinda Schultz, who has been a firefighter with Tasmania Fire Service for 24 years, said Maitland's was the biggest flood she had seen in an urban area.
"It's such a good feeling to be able to give back," she said.
"We've had people from NSW come to Tasmania to give us support with bushfires so it's nice to be able to reciprocate that and to give back.
"We're all here to help and to make the difference and to ease the burden on the people who have been affected."
There has been an outpouring of support for the volunteers.
Businesses, and residents, across the region have offered everything from thank you messages to free coffees and even meals.
The Rapid Relief Team - a group of volunteers from the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church - have been feeding the volunteers each day for free. They have been serving up bacon and eggs for breakfast and up to 90 lunches.
Then there are the citizens who have gone above and beyond to do what they could to help - many using their own boats to help people and animals.
Veterinary nurse Debbie Pratten, staff and vets from the Newcastle Equine Centre and Morpeth Veterinary Hospital, Olympian Heath Ryan and Martina Kovacs were among those who helped to rescue 20 horses at Millers Forest that were stranded in floodwater. The volunteers walked them three kilometres to safety.
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