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Rescues and evacuations in NSW flooding with more bureau alerts

Western NSW towns along the Namoi River have been inundated with water, prompting flood rescues and evacuations.

September 19, 2022
By Stephanie Gardiner
19 September 2022

Farmers in north-west NSW are preparing to be cut off after the Namoi River broke its banks, inundating rural towns and sparking several flood rescues.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued flood warnings for the river, including major flooding at Wee Waa and Gunnedah after the river peaked early on Sunday.

State Emergency Service spokesman David Rankine said five low-lying houses in Gunnedah were flooded, while a levee was expected to keep water at bay in the town of Wee Waa.

Farmers in the Wee Waa region will likely be cut off due to the state of wet, unsealed roads, and have been advised to move their livestock and machinery to higher ground.

Emergency services are on call to deliver supplies to farming families who become isolated.

He said there were about 20 rescues across the New England region on the weekend, mostly involving people who drove through flood water.

“That was a bit disappointing, people not being responsible behind the wheel,” Mr Rankine told ABC news on Monday.

“That takes a lot of the effort away from our volunteers to help community members when we’re fishing people out of their cars.”

Parts of the central west have also flooded, with the Macquarie-Wambuul River peaking at Wellington, Dubbo, and Narromine. 

Rankine said the Dubbo Caravan Park was briefly under an evacuation order on Friday afternoon. 

Major flooding is expected at Warren on Monday, though a levee should prevent water inundating the town.

Burrendong Dam, near Wellington, is sitting at 133 per cent, having dropped to below four per cent at the height of the drought.

The Namoi River at Gunnedah. (NSW SES Armidale)

“The transformation these communities have seen with all this rain is fantastic,’ Rankine said.

“Most farmers will tell you mud is money. We hope as we come into harvest the rain does abate in and around October, November, December.”

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