Nowhere to go … stranded dairy cows on the Bellinger river downstream of Bellingen. Picture: Nathan Edwards
EVEN while firefighters are still battling bush infernos in scorched Victoria huge amounts of Australia are under floodwaters.
Rains have eased, but more than 4000 people remain isolated by flood waters in parts of northern New South Wales, the State Emergency Service (SES) says.
Heavy rains falling since Friday have soaked large parts of the state between Bourke and Sydney, but began easing last night, SES director general Murray Kear said.
“We’ve got about 4,000 people still isolated along the Bellinger River
“Those communities are isolated by the Bellinger River, which we are monitoring and has showed a slight lowering.
“There have been no signs of an increase overnight, with no further rain, and the river is steady at about 5.3m currently.”
The Bureau of Meteorology forecasts a further 100mm of rain in the area today, but Mr Kear said satellite images showed the rain falling over the Pacific Ocean.
At Bourke in the state’s central north, where a natural disaster zone has been declared, 200mm of rain has fallen in the past few days, equivalent to two-thirds of the city’s annual rainfall.
Between Bourke and Sydney and stretching to the coast, the SES has received more than 2000 calls for assistance since Friday.
“We’ve conducted nine flood rescues across the north coast – people stranded in vehicles, et cetera,” Mr Kear said.
Last night and early today, the SES received 100 calls for help in the greater Sydney area from people beset by water inundation.
Bellingen resident Patricia Reed was among many people trapped in town by the rising water.
Ms Reed, who has lived in the area all her life, said she had never seen such constant, heavy rain.
“The problem is we’ve got people stranded who can’t get out of town and people who can’t get in,” she said.
To read more go to The Daily Telegraph
at the communities of Bellingen, Darkwood and Thora,” Mr Kear said.