16/09/2022 09:00 PM

The NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES) is urging communities in Western NSW to stay flood safe, as operational activity continues to ramp up.

NSW SES operators have received more than 300 phone calls since midnight, with 13 flood rescues taking place throughout the state and 52 requests for assistance, predominantly in the Wellington, Forbes and Orange areas.

Overnight, NSW SES crews from the Wellington, Orange and Dubbo Units were called to the Mitchell Highway at Neurea, following reports a truck and multiple cars were stuck in floodwater. NSW SES volunteers effected the safe retrieval of all occupants and a dog.

Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke thanked the volunteers who are out in force supporting the flood efforts.

“Our volunteers are out in treacherous conditions keeping our community safe, and we thank them for it,” Ms Cooke said.

Minister for Agriculture and Western NSW Dugald Saunders said NSW SES crews are also continuing to assist rural property owners with the safe removal of pumps and livestock, including cows, sheep and horses.

“We are asking landholders and all residents across Western NSW to stay safe, look out for one another and listen to the advice given by emergency services,” Mr Saunders said.

NSW SES Western Zone Commander, Chief Superintendent David Monk, said the majority of flood rescues have been occurring as a result of people choosing to drive through flood waters.

“If you approach a road that is closed, or a road that is flooded, turn around and find an alternative route,” Chief Superintendent Monk said.

“Our NSW SES volunteers are always prepared and ready to assist their local communities, but we ask that the community do their bit to help by listening to the advice given by emergency services.

“With wet soil, high rivers and full dams, there are additional risk factors that create dangerous situations. We are also concerned about isolated heavy rainfall which could lead to flash flooding.”

An evacuation warning has been issued for Western Plains Tourist Park in Dubbo, with NSW SES crews continuing to monitor the situation.

A La Nina event was declared by the Bureau of Meteorology earlier this week, bringing with it a higher chance of flooding across the eastern parts of the country.

EDITORS NOTE: Vision of operational activity/flooding in western NSW and interview with NSW SES Chief Superintendent David Monk, Western Zone Commander can be accessed via hightail: https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/kboYz9I7pp

Media enquiries: NSW SES Media 1800 067 234 or media@ses.nsw.gov.au

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