The Picton business community is reeling after flood water from Stonequarry Creek inundated the town on Sunday afternoon.
Local shopkeepers arrived at their businesses on Monday morning to find total destruction..
Front glass doors were cracked and floors, furniture and stock were muddy and ruined.
Leonie Walsh, owner of The Elephant Emporium, said it was devastating to see her shop become a mud bath.
“We have lost everything. Nothing is salvageable,” she said.
The manager of the George IV Inn, Peta Cohen, described the scene in the pub as “insane”.
She was at the pub thigh high in water after Stonequarry Creek overflowed yesterday afternoon.
“It was devastating to walk in this morning and see the damage and the amount of clean up that we need to do,” Ms Cohen said.
“We have just finished renovating and it is heartbreaking to see that good work gone.”
Despite the destruction, shopkeepers, staff, locals, Fire and Rescue NSW workers and Rural Fire Service volunteers all pitched in to clear and clean stores.
Monica Martinis, owner of Bespoke in Hair salon, said everything was “totalled” but she was proud to see the community rally together.
“It is amazing and overwhelming to see the offers of support from locals,” she said.
Ms Cohen said local drinkers from the pub turned up and just started to help with the clean up.
Councillor and owner of Michael’s Treasure Chest, Michael Banasik, wanted to thank the SES, RFS volunteers, Fire and Rescue NSW workers and local residents for helping with the mammoth clean up effort.
“Thankfully nobody was hurt and now we have a big clean up ahead of us,” Cr Banasik said.
He has called on the state and federal governments to provide financial assistance to those affected.
Fire and Rescue NSW superintendent Steven Hayes described the scene as chaotic.
“It is indescribable the amount of damage the flood caused, he said. “ Many businesses have been massively affected.”
“I have lived near Picton most of my life and I have never seen anything like this before.”
Business owners said they would be closed for a few weeks.
Picton’s St Anthony’s Catholic Parish primary school will be closed for the rest of the term. Arrangements are being made for students to attend other schools.