With record flooding through southeastern Australia, all manner of creatures are invading neighborhoods as they flee the rising water.
New South Wales, Australia is battling its worst flooding in decades. Over 18,000 residents have been forced to evacuate their submerged homes — a number that could rise to as much as 54,000 in the coming days. Even as the torrential rainfall begins to ease, the flooding is far from over.
But humans are not the only living things forced to evacuate their natural environment. Just ahead of the coming tide, legions of snakes and spiders are finding high ground in Australians’ homes. Local Matthew Lovenfosse has been posting video updates on his Facebook page and YouTube showing the crawling horde from his parents’ home in Kinchela Creek.
All the brown you can see is Spiders trying to beat the flood water.Video – https://youtu.be/hV-PoJ-IIyw
“All the brown you can see is Spiders trying to beat the flood water,” Lovenfosse said. Hours later, another video announced the arachnid host was “only a couple meters off the back fence now.”
In a conversation with CNN, Lovenfosse said he experienced flooding in March of 2001 and 2013, and witnessed similar invasions on both occasions. “It’s still raining here and the flood water is still rising; the water is getting closer to our home,” he said. “In the morning it should be inside, and the spiders will be all over the house.”
Along with the spiders, “the trees are full of snakes,” Lovenfosse said. “If you take the boat out over the paddock they swim towards it trying to get on something dry, same with the spiders.”
Others have joined Lovenfosse in posting their own pictures and footage. “So many SPIDERS from the floodwater” Macksville’s Melanie Williams said, alongside video and photos of the phenomenon. TikTok user Shenea Varley warned the creatures would “climb up your legs to get shelter as well if your[sic] not careful” with an accompanying clip.
On Monday, New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said “the situation is evolving,” and more people may need to be evacuated as “the heavy rainfalls [continue] and we are now seeing alerts issued for weather warnings for the Illawarra and south coast.”
“I don’t know any time in our state’s history where we had these extreme weather conditions in such quick succession in the middle of a pandemic,” she continued. “So these are challenging times for New South Wales, but I think we have also demonstrated our capacity to be resilient.”