‘Pack your bags’: Major flood warning for thousands of Australians as they prepare to flee their homes in the face of wild weather and torrential rain
- Residents have been told to prepare to evacuate as floods hit central west NSW
- More than 8,000 residents living in Forbes have been warned by NSW SES
- Lachlan River levels are expected to rise to similar heights during 2016 flood
Thousands of residents are preparing to evacuate their homes as a major flood warning is issued for NSW’s central west.
The NSW State Emergency Service has warned 8,000 residents to be ready to leave their households in the town of Forbes, 350km west of Sydney.
Heavy rainfall has been battering the region and large swathes of NSW over the past week leading to flash flooding and more than a dozen rescues by emergency services across the state.
The nearby Lachlan River is expected to rise drastically within the next 30 hours and exceed the moderate level at 9.5m on Monday.
Levels are set to continue to rise to 10.55m on Tuesday and then peak at 10.65m on Wednesday.
The levels will be close to the 10.7m recorded during the deadly 2016 floods which killed one person and damaged hundreds of hectares of crops.
Thousands of residents are preparing to evacuate their homes as a major flood warning is issued for NSW’s central west
Heavy rainfall has been battering the region and large swathes of NSW over the past week leading to flash flooding and more than a dozen rescues by emergency services across the state
Residents determined to wait out the floods have been sandbagging their homes since Sunday.
Locals Barbara and husband Anthony ‘Sam’ Judd have shored up their house as they prepare for the worst.
‘We just don’t know how it’s going to affect us,’ Mrs Judd said. ‘We are just being careful … in the 2016 flood, there was about four inches (of water) around in the garden.’
NSW SES has provided more than 6,000 sandbags to residents after receiving close to 100 calls for help over the weekend.
The rise in river level is partly due to heavy rain and increased spill from Wyangala Dam after the catchment reached 104 per cent capacity over the weekend.
Forbes mayor Phyllis Miller said dam walls needed to be raised to avoid a catastrophe.
‘The damage that flooding does to livelihoods and to the environment … is appalling, especially when we could stop this,’ she said.
Major flooding is also expected at Cottons Weir and Jemalong.
Cowra has already experienced moderate flooding with river levels peaking at 12m
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