Think you've been busy in 2022? Illawarra SES volunteers had their work cut out for them in 2022, receiving more than double last year's number of assistance requests in a record-breaking year of rain.
The orange army responded to thousands of jobs across the region after roads, houses and businesses were battered with relentless wet weather.
In July alone, Wollongong recorded 496mm of rain - more than a third of the area's average annual rainfall and a far cry from the month's long-term average of 63mm.
In the face of record-breaking wet weather, SES volunteers saw 4803 requests for assistance in the Illawarra in 2022 - more than twice the number of requests that came through in 2021.
Volunteers battled the fallout of severe weather in March, when flash floods inundated homes and businesses, and just weeks later, the Illawarra was hit again by another bout of rain that saw landslips, power outages, flooding and dozens of SES rescues across the Illawarra, South Coast and Greater Sydney areas.
In July, weary SES volunteers were back in action again when more rain lashed the Illawarra, preparing residents for more flooding, with sandbags at the ready.
Alethea Duley, of the NSW SES, said volunteers responded to 21 road crash rescues this year across the region, likely due to severe storm impacts and trees blown down in high winds.
As the Illawarra's wettest year on record draws to a close, the NSW SES is urging holiday-makers to ensure their trip home is a safe one.
Ms Duley said the public should plan their journeys before travelling this holiday season, with the impact of severe flooding in inland NSW still lingering.
"Many roads may have sustained damage or been cut off due to flood affects," Ms Duley said.
As many flock home to families for the holiday season, she urged travellers to check Live Traffic or consult local council websites before their trip.
Dangerous road conditions may be hidden under flood water, she said, so even if drivers are familiar with the roads, they should be extra vigilant.
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