Hussy Hicks saves neighbor from Lismore floods, says community trauma won’t recede with water
Like thousands of others, Leesa Gentz and Julz Parker, aka The Hussy Hicks Band, saw their property destroyed in the deadly Lismore floods.
- Group member Julz Parker carried his 87-year-old neighbor to the roof so they could be rescued
- Hussy Hicks is based on the Gold Coast but has a studio in Lismore near the Wilsons River
- They say they lost everything in the floods, like so many others
As they helped save the life of their elderly neighbor earlier this week, the couple warn that the trauma felt in the community will not subside with the flood waters.
“There are octogenarians who did this on their own and their bodies were discovered,” Parker said.
“We’re fine, but there will be a lot of people who aren’t.”
Not enough preparation
Hussy Hicks is based on the Gold Coast but has a studio in Lismore near the Wilsons River.
Gentz said they were aware of the area’s risk of flooding, but this event exceeded all expectations.
“We prepared for the highest in history, we knew we could stay,” she said.
Gentz said they kept trying to put their business “higher and higher” but eventually the waters “wiped everything out of the history books”.
Rush to save the neighbor
Parker said she was worried about her 87-year-old neighbor Jim as the SES was too overwhelmed to reach them in time.
“I would like to go towards him at night but I couldn’t see anything and the water never stopped rushing.”
She said she managed to get on a kayak and found Jim “half standing” on a floating bed at his home.
“I walked in and had Jim wrap his arms around my shoulders and I half paddled, half tiptoed, jumped up and managed to get us all out both on a little railing.
“The water kept rising and kept rising, and the only thing the emergency services could say was ‘get on the roof’.”
Gentz said she and Parker had been a team throughout the affair.
“[But] Julz is always the one who goes for it and corrects situations,” she said.
“Our very, very dear friend over there needs help and she was definitely going to.”
“How We All Ended Up Living”
While she remained there, Gentz said she contacted her family who were able to send a boat.
“That’s how we all ended up still alive in the end.”
Parker said she managed to help Jim into the boat – both of them exhausted after hours of battling the floodwaters.
“I got to that millisecond point where it’s like, ‘This is our last try because the roof is going to leak,'” she said.
As everyone got into the boat and made their way to safety, Parker said they had lost “absolutely everything”.
“A collection of microphones and preamps and studio monitors and just really specialized stuff that you collect all your life to have a music studio,” she said.
“Our story, however dramatic, is one of thousands.”
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