The Forbes ferry, a makeshift service designed to link the town's people with the north and south sides of Forbes, has been forced to cease operation as floodwaters continue to rise along the Lachlan River.
(min cost $8)
Login or signup to continue reading
The floodwater is too high for the service to be conducted safely, Forbes Shire Council says.
It's not hard to see why either.
The town is on track to record back-to-back bumper floods reminiscent of the 1952 disaster that swept through the town seven decades ago.
That devastation was felt again in Forbes two weeks ago, and the town is bracing for more pain this week too.
The flood is coming quicker than we expected and we want you to be safe.- Forbes Mayor Phyllis Miller
The NSW SES has been working with the Forbes community to assist with evacuations after flash flooding hit the whole region on Sunday night.
ALSO MAKING NEWS:
On Monday, NSW SES members and interagency partners conducted 150 flood rescues at Eugowra after the Mandagery Creek doubled in height on Sunday night.
NSW SES Deputy State Duty Commander Dallas Burnes said NSW SES was again focusing on Forbes as the Lachlan River continued to rise above major level and may reach a record level of 10.8m by Tuesday evening.
"After 120mm of rain fell in the area on Sunday night, our members have worked alongside emergency service partners to prepare the Forbes community, including sandbagging and public information," Chief Superintendent Burnes said.
"We have as many emergency services resources as possible in the Central West, including rescue helicopters, the Australian Defence Force arriving today and internationally-deployed personnel."
The Eugowra community faced devastating flood levels with significant damage reported, and power and telecommunication coverage still being restored.
"This morning, NSW SES conducted a full sweep of Eugowra and we will begin conducting rapid damage assessments as soon as it is safe to do so," Chief Superintendent Burnes said.
"We have reports of floodwater moving whole houses downstream and bridges being moved off pylons. Police are continuing to work with welfare services to assist the Eugowra community."
Planning is underway for more international resources to be deployed to assist with flood response and recovery, with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting further storms in the state's south next weekend.
The Bureau has forecast wet weather to continue at least until the end of the year, with communities expected to be affected by isolations for several months.
On Tuesday, floodwaters are rising fast with north Forbes to be cut off from the central business district.
Battye Street is the only connecting street that remains open between north and south Forbes and Forbes Shire Council has urged everyone to go home immediately in a emergency SMS issued at 9.46am Tuesday, November 15.
Evacuation directions issued to low-lying areas of Forbes were brought forward to 7am with the State Emergency Service advising the Lachlan River was rising faster than anticipated.
Forbes Mayor Phyllis Miller is appealing to people not to drive through floodwaters, as it sends bow waves into people's homes and businesses.
"It's terribly important that we're mindful of that," she said.
"The flood is coming quicker than we expected and we want you to be safe."
The Newell Highway to Parkes is only open to emergency vehicles.
With the Lachlan River at Cowra exceeding 14 metres on Monday night, our river reached a height probably not seen since 1952.
"The speed of the rise of flood water last night took everyone by surprise, with the SES and emergency services making the call to close the Cowra Bridge quickly," Cowra Mayor, Cr Bill West said.
"With the water now receding, we'll be seeing a lot of damage to buildings and roads, not only in the town, but in our rural communities and villages, particularly Gooloogong.
"I'd like to acknowledge the tireless work of our local SES, emergency services teams, Council staff and volunteers who have put in countless hours behind the scenes to keep people safe.
"We also keep in our thoughts our neighbouring communities in the Central West who have suffered terrible damage in this flooding event.
Now is the time, most importantly, for everyone to keep kindness and patience at the forefront as we work through the clean up and get back on our feet together.- Cowra mayor Bill West
"Roads and bridges will re-open in due course and we'll be facing a huge clean up.
"Now is the time, most importantly, for everyone to keep kindness and patience at the forefront as we work through the clean up and get back on our feet together," Cr West said.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.