This week Gunnedah Shire has been faced with one of the worst floods in recent years. With more rain forecast, renewed flooding is likely to continue over the weekend and the impacts of this major weather event will be felt for many weeks to come.
On behalf of Gunnedah Shire Council, our thoughts are with those who have been displaced and had homes, businesses and property damaged by significant flooding. Looking back on our experience of drought, it’s difficult to comprehend the deluge of water we are now encountering. We are thinking of those who are facing significant damage to crops so close to what could have been a bumper harvest.
Thank you to the NSW State Emergency Service Gunnedah Unit who continue to coordinate emergency preparation and have responded to many calls for help. Thank you also to those SES volunteers who have travelled to Gunnedah and generously given their time to help our community.
We are grateful for the ongoing work of emergency services and our Council crews who are on the ground monitoring conditions. Multiple rescues from flooded vehicles have been conducted over the past few days and I urge the community to keep safety front of mind and not enter floodwater or drive around barricades.
This extreme weather event is having far reaching impacts on the rural road network, both throughout our entire Shire and broader region. Community safety is paramount and Council is working to prioritise urgent requests and ensure our roads and amenities are returned and working as soon as possible.
However, with more rain on the way it is likely roads in low-lying areas will remain closed for some time while we wait for the water to subside and conduct safety assessments. I thank our community for their understanding and ask that you remain patient as our teams are working through a high volume of requests. Local road closure information can be found on Council’s website and for emergency help in floods please contact the SES on 132500.
The Gunnedah Shire community has always shown strength and resilience when faced with hardship and it has been heartening to see people checking on their neighbours, volunteering and donating items to those in need. The impacts of such a major weather event will be ongoing and we need to keep up this support as we look to the recovery phase.
- Gunnedah Shire Mayor Jamie Chaffey