Tuesday, March 13, 2012

New flood disaster zones declared in New South Wales

One-third of NSW's communities have been declared natural disaster zones as the worst flooding in decades continues to threaten parts of the state.

Four more natural disaster zones were declared on Tuesday, bringing the total to 53 out of NSW's 152 local government areas.

The latest areas to be declared were Bombala, Murray Shire, Central Darling and Hay Shire.

Residents of Hay, in southwest NSW, were on evacuation alert on Tuesday night as the Murrumbidgee River crept towards a nine-metre flood peak - equal to heights not seen since 1974.

"Although the rain has eased and flood waters are starting to recede, it will be a long time before these communities will be back to normal," NSW Emergency Services Minister Mike Gallacher said in a statement.

The State Emergency Service warned Hay Shire residents, particularly those in low-lying areas, to prepare to flee their homes.

"Given that this region has not seen a flood of this magnitude for nearly 40 years, floodwaters will behave differently," SES Murrumbidgee regional controller James McTavish said in a statement. Read More

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