Large Scale Evacuations for Urana
Published Date: 05 Mar 2012
Minister for Police and Emergency Services Michael Gallacher said large scale evacuations would be carried out by air tonight and tomorrow at the town of Urana, south west of Wagga Wagga.
"The evacuation of Urana will be commenced by the NSW State Emergency Service this afternoon as the community of 400 comes under threat," Minister Gallacher said.
"The SES has advised that the floodwaters are expected to overwhelm essential utilities in the community including sewerage and electricity," he said.
"The flooding is also likely to inundate businesses in the town including the supermarket and because the town will be isolated for up to one week, this means residents will not have alternate access to supplies.
"Residents will be relocated from the town by aerial support to the nearby city of Albury where they will be transported by bus to an evacuation centre," Minister Gallacher said.
Minister Gallacher said rising floodwater continues to cause concern in many other locations in the Riverina and Central West slopes with over 4,900 people evacuated.
"In Wagga Wagga over 1,000 people are evacuated as the swollen Murrumbidgee River reaches heights not experienced since 1974, with the North Wagga Wagga levee expected to overtop, flooding hundreds of properties.
"Yesterday some 127 properties in the village of The Rock were flooded when that town's levee was overtopped.
"In Forbes over 500 people have been evacuated as the Lachlan River continues to rise ahead of an expected peak tomorrow, while in the town of Yenda an evacuation order was issued today for 300 properties.
"I urge people to heed the warnings to avoid entering flood waters and I urge communities to take evacuation orders with the utmost seriousness," Minister Gallacher said.
The NSW SES Commissioner Murray Kear warned the emergency was far from over across the state. "The flooding over the past few months has been the most serious experienced in the State in decades, with many hundreds of homes flooded and thousands evacuated or isolated," Commissioner Kear said.
"I am proud of the selfless contribution of NSW SES volunteers who continue to serve the community during this flood emergency," Commissioner Kear concluded.
Contact Name: Clint McGilvray (Minister's Office)
Contact Phone: 0413 285 186