Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tamworth Floods November 2008


Tamworth has been struck by sudden floods after a heavy downpour.

This photo from Leannes World shows the Peel River in flood. The link will carry you through to a good description of the evolution of one storm that contributed to the flooding.

In combination, storms dumped more than 160 millimetres of rain in less than 24 hours sparking several rescues. A young boy clung to a tree for several hours after the car he was in was swept into the river.

In face of the flooding, Andrew Galvin of the Namoi Division of the State Emergency Service (SES) stated that property owners in several low lying areas were being asked to leave their homes ahead of the flood peak at 9:00am, 29 November AEDT.

"We're strongly recommending residents in King George Avenue take the opportunity to evacuate. The flood at this level will inundate this area and impact on it," he said.

"There's always an element of uncertainty and of course that flood level could go higher, which is why we're recommending evacuation."

Mr Galvin said that several homes have already been evacuated

"Most of the roads will be cut. We expect Tamworth will be cut in half. The main access between east and west Tamworth, Bridge Street, will in all probability be closed for several hours," he said.

The flood peak did indeed cut Tamworth in two.

According to the State Emergency service's Namoi division controller Kathleen Caine, the SES received more than 130 calls for help including several from motorists who became stranded in floodwaters.

The Department of Community Services opened two evacuation centres to help people who might have to leave their homes.

"At the moment we're accommodating about 16 people in motels in Tamworth that were stranded here," stated DoCS Bob Solley.

There were fears that businesses owners in the low lying industrial area of Taminda might not escape flooding because of the city's partially completed levee bank. However, these initial fears do not appear to have been realised.

Tamworth has been declared a natural disaster area by the NSW State Government to assist in reconstruction.

Check the Northern Daily Leader for more details.


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