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Thousands forced out of their homes as NSW flood crisis continues

Article image for Thousands forced out of their homes as NSW flood crisis continues

Thousands of people affected by NSW floods have evacuated their properties as the weather continues to wreak havoc.

There’s major flooding along the Hawkesbury River at North Richmond and Windsor, with water levels similar to the 1990 event.

Evacuation orders are in place for low-lying parts of North Richmond and Agnes Banks, and Southgate, north of Grafton.

A previous evacuation order for the Colo River area has been rescinded, with the river not expected to rise further. The SES has advised residents to remain vigilant.

Residents in Londonderry, Clarendon, Wetherill Park, and Moree in the state’s north have been told to prepare to leave their homes.

The Bureau of Meteorology has recorded up to a metre of rainfall over the last seven days on the Mid-North Coast.

20-30mm is expected to fall today in the Sydney region, with the skies to clear in the evening and overnight.

The ADF has been called upon and will send two search and rescue helicopters to the South Coast as the heavy rain moves south.

Resilience NSW Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons told Jim Wilson attention is now turning to the aftermath, particularly in the Hawkesbury-Nepean and Mid-North.

“Our focus, with the clearing of the weather … is to get in there and help people – in their businesses, in their homes, in their communities – with a significant clean-up and wash-down, utilising fire services and the ADF.”

Click PLAY below to hear the latest update

Member for Macquarie Susan Templeman told Ben Fordham Colo River residents are being left without food and pharmaceutical supplies.

“It’s now been going on several days with the bridge shut and uncertainty.”

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Hawkesbury MP Robyn Preston told Jim the SES are “door-knocking by boat” in the isolated Colo River community.

Elsewhere, “we’ve got a huge truck from Coles on the Windsor side, which is going across in boats across to Wilberforce, and then we’re taking it up to North Richmond.

“That’s actually being addressed as we speak.

“It’s probably another four days before we have the flood abating, and the opportunity to cross the river.”

Click PLAY below to hear the latest update

SES Commissioner Carlene York told Jim Wilson rescues and supply drops have been hampered by the inability to fly helicopters in the adverse conditions.

“We’re organising some resupply for those areas, particularly the welfare centres and then trying to make sure we can get some supplies into those supermarkets.”

Click PLAY below to hear the latest update

“All creatures great and small” have arrived at evacuation centres across the state.

Local Land Services emergency services manager Graham Wilson told Jim at Castle Hill Showground there are horses, goats, birds, dogs and more.

“We’ve got the Animal Welfare League there who are helping us care for the animals.

“It’s a positive story.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

A heritage building on Windsor’s North Street, built in the 1840s, is one of those inundated (see photo above).

Homeowner Lisa told Jim she bought the house 20 years ago, and was aware of the risk of flooding at the time.

However eight years ago, the cost of insurance skyrocketed to $2700 per month – an impossible expense for Lisa.

“Why isn’t it possible to have it a little more attainable?”

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NSW Floods