It is the chocolate they miss the most, the families, burdened with restless children and the anger of seeing their crops washed away, stranded for up to a month on inland islands in the middle of NSW.
In all 181 families have now been isolated after the biggest floods in decades hit the central west of NSW this week, with no road access, limited communications and dwindling supplies.
Among them is Michelle Alcorn and her family of four plus three dogs, who are now set to be isolated for the next month after already enduring a week stranded on their farm in Jemalong, 30 kilometres south of Forbes.
“It gives you a really eerie feeling. I haven’t had any tears yet, but we are pretty close,” Mrs Alcorn said as she looked towards the flood plains from her kitchen window.
“My two teenagers are going stir crazy.”
The children have already missed two weeks of school to help their family defend their property from the constant threat of floodwaters.
“My daughter spends all day out on the tractor with dad, checking the levies, making sure they don’t flood.”
They received marshmallows as part of an air drop delivered by the State Emergency Service this week, as well as meat and bread that they store in large freezers throughout the property, and some fresh fruit and vegetables.
“We live pretty simply,” Mrs Alcorn said.
“We have to, but it’s nice to have the marshmallows by the fire at night.
“We got some beer as well,” she whispered. “But we’re not allowed to say that.”
The Alcorns are just one of hundreds of families to whom the SES is delivering supplies, day in day out, as Forbes and the surrounding areas move through weeks of flood.
It only got worse this week as up to 17 millimetres of rain, and wind gusts of up to 70km/h pushed through the region while major flooding continued after the initial downpour last weekend.
On Thursday, the SES flew a one-tonne communications machine nicknamed “the flying cow” to Bedgerabong on a Huey helicopter, eight kilometres down-stream from Jemalong so that emergency services could communicate with the community of 50.
The move was overseen by SES volunteers, many of whom have been working around the clock since the floods hit, taking time off from their day jobs from around the state to ensure supplies reach those in need, while army trucks continue to deliver sand bags and other supplies to areas that can’t be reached by regular four-wheel-drives.
On Thursday. two tourists drove into floodwater and had to be pulled to safety, and the SES has urged residents to remain vigilant as a second peak of the Lachlan River looks set to hit the area next week.
“We are making sure that everyone is safe and well and has the supplies they need, while monitoring the floodwater levels; if required we have flood rescue teams on standby,” SES public information officer, John Townsend, said.
For the hundreds of families such as the Alcorns, who have 250 head of cattle and 200 head of sheep to take care of, the cost of the flood is a larger burden than any isolation.
“We have to budget our money to make sure we can get our supplies in. In terms of livestock sales and my income we are probably looking at between $6000 and $10,000 in money already lost,” Mrs Alcorn said.
“My husband is really disappointed we only had a small crop of barley in and it was looking really promising. We are going to lose that now, that’s probably another $10,000.”
Despite the challenges, the Alcorns are not holding any grudges.
“We’ve tried and tried and you can’t fight Mother Nature, it is just impossible,” Mrs Alcorn said.