HELPING residents get back on their feet was the top priority for Liverpool SES volunteers Ivan Fitzpatrick and Peter Kelly while in flood damaged Maclean last week.
The duo were two of four Liverpool SES volunteers helping with the flood clean up over four days until Sunday.
They were deployed to parts of Maclean, north of Grafton, which had been isolated by floodwaters and the only way into the area was in a helicopter.
Mr Fitzpatrick, 69, has been with SES for four years.
"When you're there you see the enormity of the damage," he said.
"It looks bad on TV but when you actually see it you realise then how devastating it was for them.
"And how bad it could have been if the water got any higher because the roads were all cut to Yamba."
It was Mr Kelly's first trip out of Sydney in his three years as an SES volunteer.
The 26-year-old was on university holidays.
"I remember flying down to Grafton and looking out the window all you saw was floodwater," he said.
"It goes all the way to the horizon.
"Seeing all the houses that were isolated and the extent of the floodwater — it was just crazy and amazing how much water the land could hold."
Other SES teams delivered food to isolated residents or transported anyone needing medical attention.
Two flood-boat technicians from Liverpool SES were in northern NSW the previous week.
Mr Kelly knows people are appreciative of the work they do.
"We were sitting in a shopping centre on one of our breaks and one of the residents comes up to us and says 'thank you so much because it's the first time in four days that we're able to come here and get some shopping done'," he said.
"It was good to see people in high spirits even though they've been flooded and to see community members helping each other out."