Forbes floodwaters ‘falling very slowly’, army provide support

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An Australian Army Unimog truck from 5th Brigade moves through inundated roads during flood relief operations in Forbes. Photo: Kyle GennerAustralian Army soldiers have been providing support to regional NSW following major flooding caused by heavy rainfall last month.


Soldiers of the 5th Brigade include members form the engineer regiment and combat service support battalion have provided assistance to local services in Forbes, Condobolin and surrounding areas.

Hydrologist Wei Wang from the Bureau of Meteorology said: “The river levels at Forbes are falling very slowly and moderate floodings continue, but are easing.”

She said light rain is expected on Monday, but will not cause more flooding in the area.

The defence force has provided six high-ground-clearance Unimog trucks, which have assisted emergency services with route reconnaissance, transport of personal and sandbags, additional planning and the rescue of small animals.

The damage bill from floods across central west NSW is expected to top more than $500 million though Roads Minister Duncan Gay said the actual cost could not be tallied until waters recede.

High water levels in the area are expected to last for a number of weeks.

More than 200 landholders have filed damage reports and 20 local government areas were declared natural disaster zones as record rains decimated crops and flooded major catchments across the area.

Mr Gay said the sub-structure of roads were also completely water-logged and it would not be clear how much damage they had sustained until heavy vehicles finally return to the road network in the months ahead.

Parts of the state are expected to reach temperatures of at least 30 degrees on Monday. Sydney’s forecast on Monday is 30 degrees in the city and 32 in the west on Monday.

Duty forecaster Andrew Haigh said a cool change with a “sprinkle” of rain on Monday afternoon will bring relief to the state following the high temperatures.

“The morning will be quite warm and the afternoon will be cooling down with a few showers around,” he said.

Mr Haigh said strong wind warnings are in place along the coast on Sunday.

“We have some parts of the coast that have a gale warning,” he said. “We’ve had a cold front come through and some strong southerlies behind it on Sunday.”