23 February, 2024
Close this search box.
Air evacuations from NSW town as floodwaters to peak


Spread the love

Residents have been flown to safety from Euabalong in central western NSW as the Lachlan River rises towards a peak of 8m.

The SES issued an evacuation order on Wednesday evening warning people in Euabalong to leave ahead of Thursday’s peak, predicted to be higher than the 1952 level.

Rising floodwaters and major flooding have isolated the township, with the main roads in and out closed.

But the community is confident a hastily constructed levee will help beat the deluge.

The SES received 170 requests for help in the 24 hours until Thursday morning and performed two flood rescues.

There are 89 warnings across the state, with 13 at emergency level.

Patrick Byrnes, a gold miner from Euabalong, said even though his house had flooded, the town’s strong community spirit had given him hope the peak on Thursday will not overwhelm the small town.

“It’s unreal. The effort we put in has been enough to keep the water out,” he told AAP from the Royal Hotel on Wednesday.

“Every day we’ve had farmers bringing loaders and trucks and they’re just digging a big hole that’s surrounding the town.”

Nevertheless, on Wednesday afternoon the SES told evacuees to go to the Royal Hotel as a flight out of Euabalong was arranged.

The hotel in the centre of town has become a hub for emergency response teams — including firefighters, SES volunteers, NSW police, Singaporean rescue teams and the Australian Defence Forces — where staff cook meals and locals can rest.

Mr Byrnes and his wife have been staying with friends and meeting up at the pub after gruelling hours of flood mitigation.
He is confident their work will pay off.

“I’ve been building the levee all day and I’m very confident we’re going to beat it (the 8m flood peak),” Mr Byrnes said.

“The whole community has pulled together on this one.”

His experience as a miner working on an underground loader was invaluable.

“Working in the mines for so many years was handy in terms of structure and that’s what we’ve done,” he said.

“We’ve turned this into a 24-hour operation.”

Volunteers from Northparkes copper and gold mine, close to the central west town of Parkes, were essential in keeping the town safe by sandbagging around the clock.

“Every day they’ve been sending us blokes and they are the reason the levee is still standing,” Mr Byrnes told AAP.

In Bourke, the main Barwon-Darling river flood peak is now approaching levels above the 1998 flood record, with a peak also expected on Thursday.

The Murrumbidgee River at Balranald Weir downstream is also heading towards a 7.3m peak.

The key areas of focus for the NSW SES in the next three days include communities along the Lachlan and the towns of Narrandera, Walgett, Bourke, Hay, Albury, Echuca, Mildura and Wentworth, Deniliquin and Moulamein.


The post Air evacuations from NSW town as floodwaters to peak appeared first on The New Daily.