Forbes Shire residents are familiar with flooding at all scales and November 2021 is no different declares Mayor Phyllis Miller OAM.
“Our community have been through floods before and we know how to prepare. We are working closely with our emergency services to ensure everyone in our community is prepared for the floodwaters to peak on Wednesday.
"Floods do however behave differently each time they occur with the most recent flood in 2016 seeing water move towards the south of the Lachlan River," says Mayor Miller. "This affected rural areas more so than town itself when compared to previous floods.
"We just need to be prepared no matter what the circumstances and I feel confident our amazing SES and emergency services will be able to handle the situation.
"We are very aware of the implications of flooding for the community and businesses alike and we will work closely with all to help our community through this flood and the recovery afterwards.
"As always, our wonderful community are here to jump in to help, especially with sandbagging and this is much appreciated," Mayor Miller continues. "Sandbags are available from the SES Depot and they are always looking for volunteers to help fill the bags as well.
“When the time comes some houses will be asked to evacuate and we ask the residents to register with the Red Cross to ensure you are safe. The walk-in Evacuation Centre has now been set up at the Presbyterian Church in Harold Street, next to the Forbes Town Hall. This desk will remain open between 8am - 6pm daily. If you have access to the internet you can also register online through; Register.Find.Reunite. Their website is:https://register.redcross.org.au/
"The SES will provide daily information on areas that are at risk and where evacuation is required, keep an eye on their Facebook page. They will be door knocking all affected houses if they are advised to evacuate. This individual response stops people panicking unnecessarily. Our local SES know where the water will be likely to go and will advise our community when it is time to evacuate.
"We would like to remind the community to be mindful of water over roads, to drive to the conditions and to obey road closures and warning signs," Mayor Miller advises. "There can be quite severe implications for drivers who do not adhere to these rules. You don’t know what’s under the water – there can be huge holes in the road surface, logs and other debris. Just don’t drive through floodwaters! Local emergency response volunteers will also be put in danger when they have to come and get you out!
“The Forbes Pool and Apex Caravan Park have now closed indefinitely until the threat has passed. Council will advise the community of any other closures of roads via our website and our social media pages.
"We also invite people to sign up to our SMS messaging service. This service will message subscribers of roads closures and any important messages during the flood. To subscribe just email your mobile number and name to: firstname.lastname@example.org
“For emergency help in floods and storms, call the NSW State Emergency Service on 132 500 or visit www.ses.nsw.gov.au. In life threatening situations call triple zero (000) immediately.
RMS Live Traffic is another good source of information regarding major roads www.livetraffic.com
The Forbes Town Hall, Concourse and Council Chambers will be the Emergency Operations Centre during the flood emergency. For more information please contact Council on 02 6850 2300.
Image courtesy of Craig Dwyer. Iron Bridge 14 November 2021