“Pack Your Bags”: Major flood warning for thousands of Australians preparing to flee their homes in the face of wild weather and torrential rain
- Residents have been instructed to prepare to evacuate as the floods hit central west NSW
- More than 8,000 Forbes residents have been warned by NSW SES
- The level of the Lachlan River is expected to rise to similar levels during the 2016 flood
Thousands of residents prepare to evacuate their homes as a major flood warning is issued for central west NSW.
The NSW State Emergency Service has warned 8,000 residents to be ready to leave their homes in the city of Forbes, 350 km west of Sydney.
Heavy rains have ravaged the region and much of NSW over the past week, causing flash floods and more than a dozen rescue workers through emergency services across the state.
The nearby Lachlan River is expected to rise dramatically within the next 30 hours, exceeding moderate levels at 9.5m on Monday.
The water level is expected to rise further to 10.55 m on Tuesday and then peak at 10.65 m on Wednesday.
Values will be near the 10.7m recorded during the deadly 2016 floods that killed one person and damaged hundreds of acres of arable land.
Thousands of residents prepare to evacuate their homes as a major flood warning is issued for central west NSW
Heavy rains have ravaged the region and much of NSW in the past week, causing flash floods and more than a dozen rescue workers through emergency services across the state
Local residents determined to wait out the floods have covered their homes with sandbags since Sunday.
Locals Barbara and her husband Anthony ‘Sam’ Judd have shored up their home as they prepare for the worst.
“We just don’t know how this will affect us,” said Mrs. Judd. “We’re just careful … there was about four inches (water) in the garden during the 2016 flood.”
NSW SES provided residents with more than 6,000 sandbags after receiving nearly 100 calls for help over the weekend.
The rise in river levels is due in part to heavy rainfall and increased overflow of the Wyangala Dam after the catchment area reached 104 percent capacity over the weekend.
Forbes Mayor Phyllis Miller said dams would need to be raised to avoid a disaster.
“The damage that floods are doing to livelihoods and the environment … is appalling, especially if we can stop it,” she said.
Major flooding is also expected at Cottons Weir and Jemalong.
Cowra has already had moderate flooding with a high of 12 m. experienced