point out flaws — understaffing, insufficient training, low seniority pay, all of which they want to improve — they embrace Starbucks and its distinctive culture.

They talk up their sense of camaraderie and community — many count regular customers among their friends — and delight in their coffee expertise. On mornings when Ms. Brisack’s store isn’t busy, employees often hold tastings.

A Starbucks spokesman said that Mr. Schultz believes employees don’t need a union if they have faith in him and his motives, and the company has said that seniority-based pay increases will take effect this summer.

onetime auto plant. The National Labor Relations Board was counting ballots for an election at a Starbucks in Mesa, Ariz. — the first real test of whether the campaign was taking root nationally, and not just in a union stronghold like New York. The room was tense as the first results trickled in.

“Can you feel my heart beating?” Ms. Moore asked her colleagues.

win in a rout — the final count was 25 to 3. Everyone turned slightly punchy, as if they had all suddenly entered a dream world where unions were far more popular than they had ever imagined. One of the lawyers let out an expletive before musing, “Whoever organized down there …”

union campaign he was involved with at a nearby Nissan plant. It did not go well. The union accused the company of running a racially divisive campaign, and Ms. Brisack was disillusioned by the loss.

“Nissan never paid a consequence for what it did,” she said. (In response to charges of “scare tactics,” the company said at the time that it had sought to provide information to workers and clear up misperceptions.)

Mr. Dolan noticed that she was becoming jaded about mainstream politics. “There were times between her sophomore and junior year when I’d steer her toward something and she’d say, ‘Oh, they’re way too conservative.’ I’d send her a New York Times article and she’d say, ‘Neoliberalism is dead.’”

In England, where she arrived during the fall of 2019 at age 22, Ms. Brisack was a regular at a “solidarity” film club that screened movies about labor struggles worldwide, and wore a sweatshirt that featured a head shot of Karl Marx. She liberally reinterpreted the term “black tie” at an annual Rhodes dinner, wearing a black dress-coat over a black antifa T-shirt.

climate technology start-up, lamented that workers had too little leverage. “Labor unions may be the most effective way of implementing change going forward for a lot of people, including myself,” he told me. “I might find myself in labor organizing work.”

This is not what talking to Rhodes scholars used to sound like. At least not in my experience.

I was a Rhodes scholar in 1998, when centrist politicians like Bill Clinton and Tony Blair were ascendant, and before “neoliberalism” became such a dirty word. Though we were dimly aware of a time, decades earlier, when radicalism and pro-labor views were more common among American elites — and when, not coincidentally, the U.S. labor movement was much more powerful — those views were far less in evidence by the time I got to Oxford.

Some of my classmates were interested in issues like race and poverty, as they reminded me in interviews for this article. A few had nuanced views of labor — they had worked a blue-collar job, or had parents who belonged to a union, or had studied their Marx. Still, most of my classmates would have regarded people who talked at length about unions and class the way they would have regarded religious fundamentalists: probably earnest but slightly preachy, and clearly stuck in the past.

Kris Abrams, one of the few U.S. Rhodes Scholars in our cohort who thought a lot about the working class and labor organizing, told me recently that she felt isolated at Oxford, at least among other Americans. “Honestly, I didn’t feel like there was much room for discussion,” Ms. Abrams said.

typically minor and long in coming.

has issued complaints finding merit in such accusations. Yet the union continues to win elections — over 80 percent of the more than 175 votes in which the board has declared a winner. (Starbucks denies that it has broken the law, and a federal judge recently rejected a request to reinstate pro-union workers whom the labor board said Starbucks had forced out illegally.)

Twitter was: “We appreciate TIME magazine’s coverage of our union campaign. TIME should make sure they’re giving the same union rights and protections that we’re fighting for to the amazing journalists, photographers, and staff who make this coverage possible!”

The tweet reminded me of a story that Mr. Dolan, her scholarship adviser, had told about a reception that the University of Mississippi held in her honor in 2018. Ms. Brisack had just won a Truman scholarship, another prestigious award. She took the opportunity to urge the university’s chancellor to remove a Confederate monument from campus. The chancellor looked pained, according to several attendees.

“My boss was like, ‘Wow, you couldn’t have talked her out of doing that?’” Mr. Dolan said. “I was like, ‘That’s what made her win. If she wasn’t that person, you all wouldn’t have a Truman now.’”

(Mr. Dolan’s boss at the time did not recall this conversation, and the former chancellor did not recall any drama at the event.)

The challenge for Ms. Brisack and her colleagues is that while younger people, even younger elites, are increasingly pro-union, the shift has not yet reached many of the country’s most powerful leaders. Or, more to the point, the shift has not yet reached Mr. Schultz, the 68-year-old now in his third tour as Starbucks’s chief executive.

She recently spoke at an Aspen Institute panel on workers’ rights. She has even mused about using her Rhodes connections to make a personal appeal to Mr. Schultz, something that Mr. Bensinger has pooh-poohed but that other organizers believe she just may pull off.

“Richard has been making fun of me for thinking of asking one of the Rhodes people to broker a meeting with Howard Schultz,” Ms. Brisack said in February.

“I’m sure if you met Howard Schultz, he’d be like, ‘She’s so nice,’” responded Ms. Moore, her co-worker. “He’d be like, ‘I get it. I would want to be in a union with you, too.’”

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$10K Grant from Arvest Bank and FHLB Dallas Helps National Guard Veteran

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–U.S. military veteran Angelia Shaw dedicated 39 years of her life to the National Guard. Her time in the service included spending more than four years at Camp Robinson in North Little Rock, Arkansas, organizing the safe homecoming of injured soldiers.

Ms. Shaw, 63, of North Little Rock, retired from the National Guard in 2018 and is now a financial secretary at Camp Robinson. While she found her service fulfilling, her training over the years in the National Guard took a heavy toll on her knees.

Ms. Shaw was able to make repairs to her home because of a $10,000 Housing Assistance for Veterans (HAVEN) grant from Arvest Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas). The funds were used to replace her heating and air-conditioning unit, upgrade a bathroom and do other minor home repairs.

HAVEN funds assist with necessary modifications to homes of U.S. veterans and active-duty, reserve or National Guard service members, who became disabled as a result of their military service since September 11, 2001. Alternatively, the funds can be awarded to Gold Star Families that were impacted during this time frame for home repairs/rehabilitation.

“I was really surprised and happy to learn that I qualified and wouldn’t have to pay the funds back,” Ms. Shaw said. “I’ve told some other people about it, and I’m really grateful and appreciative that this program is out there.”

Virgil Miller, group CRA director at Arvest Bank, said the grant is an opportunity to give back to Ms. Shaw and other veterans.

“Arvest Bank has been involved with the HAVEN grant for many years,” said Mr. Miller. “It’s an incredible honor to serve our veterans and Gold Star Families this way.”

Greg Hettrick, first vice president and director of Community Investment at FHLB Dallas, said HAVEN is an extraordinary program because it allows FHLB Dallas and its members to express gratitude to veterans and their families.

“We commend Arvest Bank and its devotion to supporting veterans like Ms. Shaw,” he said. “We deeply value its commitment to the HAVEN grant.”

To learn more about HAVEN, see fhlb.com/haven.

About Arvest Bank

With more than $26 billion in assets, Arvest Bank is a community-based financial institution serving more than 110 communities in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Established in 1961, Arvest Bank is committed to meeting the needs of its more than 830,000 retail and business customer households by continually investing in the digital tools and services customers expect. Its extensive network of more than 200 banking locations provides loans, deposits, treasury management, credit cards, mortgage loans and mortgage servicing as a part of its growing list of digital services. Arvest is known for its commitment to the communities it serves and to attracting, hiring and retaining a diverse group of talented people. Arvest is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC. To learn more please visit www.arvest.com.

About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is one of 11 district banks in the FHLBank System created by Congress in 1932. FHLB Dallas, with total assets of $62.6 billion as of March 31, 2022 is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced loans and other credit products to approximately 800 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. For more information, visit our website at fhlb.com.

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American Realty Investors, Inc. reports Earnings for Q4 2021

DALLAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–American Realty Investors, Inc. (NYSE:ARL) is reporting its results of operations for the quarter ended December 31, 2021. For the three months ended December 31, 2021, we reported net loss attributable to common shares of $6.8 million or $0.42 per diluted share, compared to net income attributable to common shares of $0.4 million or $0.03 per diluted share for the same period in 2020.

Financial Highlights

Financial Results

Rental revenues decreased $9.8 million from $17.4 million for the three months ended December 31, 2020 to $7.6 million for the three months ended December 31, 2021. The decrease in rental revenue is primarily due to the receipt of a $5.9 million lease termination payment at Browning Place in 2020 and a decline in occupancy in our commercial properties.

Net operating loss increased $7.6 million from net operating income of $3.9 million for three months ended December 31, 2020 to net operating loss of $3.7 million for the three months ended December 31, 2021. The increase in net operating loss is primarily due to the lease termination payment at Browning Place in 2020 and an increase in legal fees in 2021.

Net loss attributable to common shares increased $7.2 million from net income of $0.4 million for the three months ended December 31, 2020 to net loss of $6.8 million for the three months ended December 31, 2021. The increase in net loss is primarily attributed to the lease termination payment at Browning Place in 2020, an increase in legal fees in 2021 and a decrease in gain on sale of assets, offset in part by a decrease in loss on foreign currency transactions in 2021.

About American Realty Investors, Inc.

American Realty Investors, Inc., a Dallas-based real estate investment company, holds a diverse portfolio of equity real estate located across the U.S., including office buildings, apartments, shopping centers, and developed and undeveloped land. The Company invests in real estate through direct ownership, leases and partnerships and invests in mortgage loans on real estate. The Company also holds mortgage receivables. The Company’s primary asset and source of its operating results is its investment in Transcontinental Realty Investors, Inc. (NYSE:TCI). For more information, visit the Company’s website at www.americanrealtyinvest.com.

 
 
 
 

AMERICAN REALTY INVESTORS, INC.    

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS     

(Dollars in thousands, except per share amounts)    

            

 

  

Three Months Ended

December 31, 

 

Twelve Months Ended

December 31, 

 

  

2021

 

2020

 

2021

 

2020

 
Revenues:          
Rental revenues

 $

       7,625

 

 

 $

    17,448

 

 

 $

    37,808

 

 

 $

     51,909

 

Other incomes

 

            989

 

 

 

        1,770

 

 

 

         4,231

 

 

 

          7,117

 

Total revenue

 

         8,614

 

 

 

       19,218

 

 

 

       42,039

 

 

 

        59,026

 

Expenses:           
Property operating expenses

 

         4,360

 

 

 

        5,853

 

 

 

       20,860

 

 

 

        24,360

 

Depreciation and amortization

 

         2,397

 

 

 

        4,417

 

 

 

       11,870

 

 

 

        14,755

 

General and administrative

 

         3,143

 

 

 

        2,656

 

 

 

       15,942

 

 

 

        10,614

 

Advisory fee to related party

 

         2,391

 

 

 

        2,354

 

 

 

       13,985

 

 

 

          9,409

 

Total operating expenses

 

        12,291

 

 

 

       15,280

 

 

 

       62,657

 

 

 

        59,138

 

Net operating (loss) income

 

        (3,677

)

   

 

        3,938

 

 

 

      (20,618

)

   

 

           (112

)

Interest Income

 

         6,033

 

 

 

        6,639

 

 

 

       23,421

 

 

 

        23,098

 

Interest expense

 

        (6,604

)

 

 

       (8,709

)

 

 

      (29,080

)

 

 

       (35,004

)

Loss on foreign currency transactions

 

        (7,360

)

 

 

     (14,152

)

 

 

       (6,175

)

 

 

       (13,378

)

Loss on extinguishment of debt

 

              –

 

 

 

             –

 

 

 

       (1,451

)

 

 

               –

 

Equity in income (loss) from unconsolidated joint venture

 

         3,183

 

 

 

           263

 

 

 

       14,634

 

 

 

           (379

)

Gain on sale or write-down of assets, net

 

            382

 

 

 

       12,093

 

 

 

       24,647

 

 

 

        36,895

 

Income tax provision

 

           (129

)

 

 

           493

 

 

 

         1,067

 

 

 

             147

 

Net (loss) income

 

        (8,172

)

 

 

           565

 

 

 

         6,445

 

 

 

        11,267

 

Net income attributable to noncontrolling interest

 

         1,368

 

 

 

          (162

)

 

 

       (3,098

)

 

 

        (2,237

)

Net (loss) income attributable to common shares

 $

     (6,804

)

 

 $

        403

 

 

 $

      3,347

 

 

 $

       9,030

 

Earnings per share – basic           
Basic and diluted

 $

       (0.42

)

 

 $

       0.03

 

 

 $

        0.21

 

 

 $

         0.56

 

Weighted average common shares used in computing earnings per share                                                                                                                                            
Basic and diluted

 

16,152,043

 

 

 

16,045,796

 

 

 

16,152,043

 

 

 

16,045,796

 

 

 

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HELP Provides Down Payment Assistance to Santa Fe, New Mexico, Artist

SANTA FE, N.M.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Artist Anita L. West lives in Santa Fe, a dream city for many artists, but also an expensive place to live.

Ms. West, 77, hadn’t owned her own home since she became a renter after the Great Recession, but she never stopped hoping that she would once again have that opportunity.

As rents continued to rise, she began to explore options for buying and connected with a housing assistance agency known as Homewise after hearing about it from a friend.

Homewise, in turn, suggested that Ms. West apply for the Homebuyer Equity Leverage Partnership (HELP), a program of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) in which down payment and closing cost assistance is provided through FHLB Dallas member financial institutions.

Ms. West was able to move into a one-bedroom condo that she purchased with the aid of a $5,500 HELP subsidy provided by New Mexico Bank & Trust (NMB-T) and FHLB Dallas.

“The HELP funds meant I didn’t have to deplete my savings for the down payment, so I still had some reserves and some funds for upgrades,” she said. “I also no longer have the uncertainty that comes with rising rents.”

NMB-T awarded $115,500 in HELP subsidies in 2021 to 21 people.

“With the way home prices have skyrocketed, programs like HELP are more important than ever for renters wanting to transition into homeownership,” said Trevor Lewis, senior vice president and commercial team lead at NMB-T. “We are thankful to have this partnership with FHLB Dallas that is making homeownership a reality.”

Greg Hettrick, first vice president and director of Community Investment at FHLB Dallas, said members and housing agencies have done a great job in spreading the word about HELP.

“We are thankful for our partnership with NMB-T; they were a significant user of HELP last year, and continue to utilize the HELP subsidy this year to make homeownership a reality for the people of New Mexico,” he said.

For 2022, FHLB Dallas set aside $4 million available through its members on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit fhlb.com/help to view the current availability of HELP funds.

About New Mexico Bank & Trust

New Mexico Bank & Trust, a subsidiary of Heartland Financial USA, Inc., operating under the brand name HTLF, is a community bank with more than $2.6 billion in assets and operates 24 offices located in Central, Northern and Eastern New Mexico as well as Northwest Texas. The bank specializes in business lending and deposit services and provides a wide variety of personal credit and deposit services along with complete electronic banking programs. New Mexico Bank & Trust is a Member of the FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender.

About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is one of 11 district banks in the FHLBank System created by Congress in 1932. FHLB Dallas, with total assets of $63.5 billion as of December 31, 2021, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community investment by providing competitively priced loans and other credit products to approximately 815 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. For more information, visit fhlb.com.

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First-Time Homebuyer Receives $6K toward New Home Purchase

STARKVILLE, Miss.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The First Bank (The First) and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) are pleased to announce the awarding of a $6,000 Homebuyer Equity Leverage Partnership (HELP) subsidy to assist first-time homebuyer, 28-year-old Keva Robertson, with the purchase of her Starkville, Mississippi, home.

Representatives from the banks will join Ms. Robertson and Starkville Habitat for Humanity (Starkville Habitat) for a ceremonial check presentation tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. CT at Ms. Robertson’s home. The media is encouraged to attend.

HELP provides funds to income-qualified first-time homebuyers to provide down payment and closing cost assistance. Ms. Robertson worked with Starkville Habitat to learn about homeownership through counseling and educational courses and build her home.

For more information about HELP, visit fhlb.com/help.

WHAT:

Check Presentation

 

 

WHEN:

10:00 a.m. CT Tuesday, March 22, 2022

 

 

WHO:

Gregory Thames, North Mississippi Division President, The First Bank

 

Mike Cayson, Market President, The First Bank

 

Steven Coleman, Market President, The First Bank

 

Keva Robertson, HELP Recipient

 

Joel Downey, Executive Director, Starkville Habitat

 

 

 

 

WHERE:

Home of Keva Robertson

 

71 Azalea Lane

 

Starkville, Mississippi 39759

 

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Mother Realizes Dream of Owning Daycare Center with the Help of a Small Business Loan

MCCOMB, Miss.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A $100,000 Small Business Boost (SBB) loan from Renaissance Community Loan Fund (RCLF) and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) helped close the gap in funding for McComb, Mississippi, mom Carmen Walsh to buy a daycare.

SBB is offered by FHLB Dallas through member financial institutions such as RCLF to provide financing for qualified small business transactions by filling the gap between the loan amount that an FHLB Dallas member institution can fund and the loan request made by an eligible small business. SBB loans are unsecured and subordinate to the primary loan made by the member financial institution.

In Ms. Walsh’s case, her $381,300 RCLF loan was supplemented with $100,000 in SBB funds from FHLB Dallas, along with a Small Business Administration micro loan, to make the purchase of McComb Learning Center in McComb, Mississippi, possible.

After years in a corporate setting that required extensive travel, Ms. Walsh saw owning the daycare her children attended not only as a career change to a field she’d always loved, but an opportunity to be home for her children.

The SBB helped get me to the signing table to make my dream come true,” Ms. Walsh said. “I’m grateful for this opportunity to make a positive impact on the children in McComb.”

RCLF closed 10 SBB loans in 2021 with FHLB Dallas.

This is a successful learning center that has been operating in McComb for years, and Ms. Walsh is from the area,” said Kimberly LaRosa, RCLF president and CEO. “The SBB provided the gap funding we needed to close the deal.”

Ms. Walsh said the previous daycare owner grew into a mentor and dear friend over the years, and she approached the owner about a sale – twice – before convincing her to sell.

Another advantage of SBB is that the borrower does not begin to repay the loan until after the first year. This feature is designed to help a small business build critical cash flow during the first year of the loan.

Greg Hettrick, first vice president and director of Community Investment for FHLB Dallas, said access to capital can be challenging for small businesses.

RCLF is experienced in pairing the SBB with their own lending products to obtain the capital needed to start and expand businesses, creating jobs and opportunities,” he said.

See fhlb.com/sbb to learn more.

About Renaissance Community Loan Fund

The Gulf Coast Business Council created Gulf Coast Renaissance Corp. (now Renaissance Community Loan Fund) in 2006, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, to help rebuild the Mississippi Gulf Coast by bridging the gap in the need for safe and affordable workforce housing. Since then, Renaissance has helped make distinct improvements to the communities by promoting community and economic development through various programs implemented to deliver effective and meaningful results.

About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is one of 11 district banks in the FHLBank System created by Congress in 1932. FHLB Dallas, with total assets of $63.5 billion as of December 31, 2021, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced loans and other credit products to approximately 800 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. For more information, visit our website at fhlb.com.

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10 Homeowners Awarded Funding for Critical Home Repairs

BEAUMONT, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Woodforest National Bank® (Woodforest) and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) worked together to disburse more than $49,000 in Special Needs Assistance Program (SNAP) funding to nine homeowners in the Beaumont-Port Arthur area of Texas and a 10th in Ellis County south of Dallas, Texas, to make home repairs.

Through FHLB Dallas member institutions such as Woodforest, SNAP provides subsidies for the repair and rehabilitation of owner-occupied housing of eligible, special-needs individuals, who often are older homeowners or disabled persons living on fixed incomes.

In 2021, the maximum SNAP award per household was $6,000 unless the member or another lender contributed $350 toward the rehabilitation costs and/or inspection fees. In this case, the maximum award per household would be $7,000. Visit fhlb.com/snap for 2022 information.

“We are proud to join FHLB Dallas to provide these critical grants to residents with special needs across Texas,” said Krystian Reyes, community development relationship manager at Woodforest. “The fact that the program’s annual funding is typically fully allocated within days of it being made available to FHLB Dallas members is a testament to its immense need. We’ve seen first-hand how it has made a positive difference in the lives of these 10 homeowners.”

Karelyn Young, 81, of Beaumont, Texas, and a client of Helbig CDC who referred her to Woodforest, was one of the recipients. A $5,945 subsidy was used to install drywall and flooring in several rooms, add a new storm door and update a bathroom. Ms. Young said her home was damaged during Hurricane Harvey from water that got into the home.

“I have no idea what I would have done without this help,” Ms. Young said. “I thank God for this program because I didn’t have any money to do repairs.”

FHLB Dallas set aside $2.5 million of its 2021 Affordable Housing Program funds for SNAP, and the funds were allocated in January for the highly sought-after program. Last year, FHLB Dallas awarded $2.5 million in SNAP subsidies that assisted 421 families. Since the program’s 2009 inception, nearly $20.5 million in funding has been awarded across FHLB Dallas’ five-state District.

“Our members are best equipped to see the needs in the communities they serve,” said Greg Hettrick, first vice president and director of Community Investment at FHLB Dallas. “Woodforest made a big impact in its first year to award SNAP funding, and we are thrilled to have them using this program.”

To learn more about SNAP, visit fhlb.com/snap.

About Woodforest National Bank

Celebrating 40 years of community banking service, Woodforest National Bank has successfully stood among the strongest community banks in the nation, proudly offering outstanding customer service since 1980. Woodforest currently operates over 760 branches in 17 states across the United States and is an Outstanding CRA rated institution. For more information about Woodforest National Bank, please visit woodforest.com.

About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is one of 11 district banks in the FHLBank System created by Congress in 1932. FHLB Dallas, with total assets of $60.2 billion as of September 30, 2021, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced loans and other credit products to approximately 800 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. For more information, visit our website at fhlb.com.

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First Fires, Then Floods: Climate Extremes Batter Australia

WEE WAA, Australia — Two years ago, the fields outside Christina Southwell’s family home near the cotton capital of Australia looked like a dusty, brown desert as drought-fueled wildfires burned to the north and south.

Last week, after record-breaking rains, muddy floodwaters surrounded her, along with the stench of rotting crops. She had been trapped for days with just her cat, and still didn’t know when the sludge would recede.

“It seems to take for bloody ever to go away,” she said, watching a boat carry food into the town of Wee Waa. “All it leaves behind is this stink, and it’s just going to get worse.”

Life on the land has always been hard in Australia, but the past few years have delivered one extreme after another, demanding new levels of resilience and pointing to the rising costs of a warming planet. For many Australians, moderate weather — a pleasant summer, a year without a state of emergency — increasingly feels like a luxury.

Black Summer bush fires of 2019 and 2020 were the worst in Australia’s recorded history. This year, many of the same areas that suffered through those epic blazes endured the wettest, coldest November since at least 1900. Hundreds of people, across several states, have been forced to evacuate. Many more, like Ms. Southwell, are stranded on floodplain islands with no way to leave except by boat or helicopter, possibly until after Christmas.

La Niña in full swing, meteorologists are predicting even more flooding for Australia’s east coast, adding to the stress from the pandemic, not to mention from a recent rural mouse plague of biblical proportions.

pregnancies on pause, shows that the El Niño-La Niña cycle has been around long enough for flora and fauna to adapt.

more than doubled since the 1970s.

Ron Campbell, the mayor of Narrabri Shire, which includes Wee Waa, said his area was still waiting for government payments to offset damage from past catastrophes. He wondered when governments would stop paying for infrastructure repairs after every emergency.

“The costs are just enormous, not just here but at all the other places in similar circumstances,” he said.

60 percent of the trees in some places. Cattle farmers culled so much of their herds during the drought that beef prices have risen more than 50 percent as they rush to restock paddocks nourished (nearly to death) by heavy rain.

Bryce Guest, a helicopter pilot in Narrabri, once watched the dust bowls grow from above. Then came “just a monstrous amount of rain,” he said, and new kind of job: flights to mechanical pumps pushing water from fields to irrigation dams in a last-ditch effort to preserve crops that had been heading for a record harvest.

On one recent flight, he pointed to mountains of stored grain — worth six figures, at least — that were ruined by the rains, with heavy equipment trapped and rusting next to it. Further inland, a home surrounded by levees had become a small island accessible only by boat or copter.

“Australia is all about water — everything revolves around it,” he said. “Where you put your home, your stock. Everything.”

The flood plains in what is known as the Murray-Darling basin stretch out for hundreds of miles, not unlike the land at the mouth of the Mississippi River. The territory is so flat that towns can be cut off with roads flooded by less than an inch of additional rain.

That happened a few weeks ago in Bedgerabong, a few hundred miles south of Narrabri. On a recent afternoon, a couple of teachers were being driven out of town in a hulking fire truck — equipment for one disaster often serves another. Across a flooded road behind them, three other teachers had decided to camp out so they could provide some consistency for children who had already been kept out of school for months by pandemic lockdowns.

Paul Faulkner, 55, the principal of the school (total enrollment: 42), said that many parents craved social connection for their children. The Red Cross has sent in booklets for those struggling with stress and anxiety.

“Covid has kept everyone from their families,” he said. “This just isolates them even more.”

He admitted that there were a few things they did not discuss; Santa, for one. The town is expected to be cut off until after the holidays as the waters that rose with surging rains over a few days take weeks to drain and fade.

In Wee Waa, where the water has started to recede, supplies and people flowed in and out last week by helicopter and in a small boat piloted by volunteers.

Still, there were shortages everywhere — mostly of people. In a community of around 2,000 people, half of the teachers at the local public school couldn’t make it to work.

At the town’s only pharmacy, Tien On, the owner, struggled with a short-handed staff to keep up with requests. He was especially concerned about delayed drug deliveries by helicopter for patients with mental health medications.

Ms. Southwell, 69, was better prepared than most. She spent 25 years volunteering with emergency services and has been teaching first aid for decades. After a quick trip into Wee Waa by boat, she returned to her home with groceries and patience, checking a shed for the stray cats she feeds and discovering that only one of her chickens appeared to have drowned.

She said she wasn’t sure how much climate change could be blamed for the floods; her father had put their house on higher stilts because they knew the waters would rise on occasion.

All she knew was that more extreme weather and severe challenges to the community would be coming their way.

“The worst part of it is the waiting,” she said. “And the cleanup.”

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