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1.2 Our Recent Experience: Extreme Weather Events


In recent years our community has experienced significant challenges brought on by the impact of extreme weather events. 

A prolonged period of hot dry weather culminated in catastrophic bushfires twice threatening residential areas in late 2019. In March 2021, a period of intense heavy rainfall throughout the catchment resulted in the Manning River reaching a 1 in 20 flood level at the Harrington Break Wall. On both occasions the consequences could easily have been much more severe than they were.

During the March 2021 floods, the State Emergency Service (SES) recorded 55 structures in Harrington that were impacted by flood/stormwater, with 27 houses having water through them up to 30cm high. Most of the water in this event came from the National Park. Harrington Road was flooded between the town and the A1 highway, preventing access for residents, emergency services and the normal delivery of supplies.

In November 2019 the Black Summer Bushfires caused significant losses of local vegetation and wildlife. Our homes, caravans and other buildings in Harrington and Crowdy Head were severely threatened. We may not be so fortunate as to escape significant destruction from future natural disasters, particularly with the effects of climate change.

While official emergency service organisations play a critical role in such times, these emergency events highlight the need for individuals, families and communities to be as well prepared as possible for future emergencies. It is not a question of “if” we will be challenged by another emergency, but “when” the emergency will occur and what type of emergency it will be. 

Harrington & Surrounds website is owned & maintained by the Harrington & Surrounds Business & Community Association Incorporated.


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