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NSW floods cut off land access to two northern towns

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Two NSW towns are likely to be isolated for days as the NSW flood emergency continues.

State Emergency Service (SES) workers performed six rescues and answered 112 calls for help between 6am on Saturday and 6am on Sunday.

The towns of Warren and Wee Waa, in the state’s north, are cut off by road and expected to remain that way for days.

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Emergency services are using aircraft to delivery water, medicine, food and other supplies to residents.

The town of Gunnedah continues to be impacted by major flooding as of Sunday morning, however water is slowly receding.

The Namoi River peaked at the major flood level of 8.24 metres on Saturday and SES workers were on the ground to assess the damage as it became clear.

Authorities have reinforced safety warnings in the wake of a five-year-old boy’s death.

He was found dead on Saturday afternoon after a vehicle was swept away by floodwaters at Tullamore, northwest of Parkes, in central western NSW.

The boy’s parents were reportedly able to remove restraints from two younger children in the car, but weren’t able to free the older boy.

His death has prompted renewed calls for people to take the dangers of floodwaters seriously, with SES spokesman Greg Nash saying a river or creek’s conditions could change between morning and afternoon.

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“We have some very resilient communities and some communities that are very much aware of their flood risk,” he said on Saturday.

‘Drive to the conditions’

“(However) we want people to drive to the conditions, and if you find a flooded or a damaged road as a result of flooding, to stop, turn around, (and) find another away – it’s not worth the risk to push on.”

On Saturday the Bureau of Meteorology shifted their focus to early next week, when southern and central inland parts of the state could get “considerable” falls on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“It’s a bit early to know exactly how high the flood peaks will get as a result of that rain, but it’s definitely something that our hydrology team will be checking out pretty closely over the next day or two,” senior meteorologist Jake Phillips said.

“It definitely will exacerbate some of those flood peaks and could send some of them either into prolonged major flooding, or raise them from moderate into major, potentially.”

There are concerns more inland catchments could spill over, with many dams already at capacity.

In the 11 days since the flooding began, emergency services had fielded more than 820 requests for assistance in NSW, which included nearly 60 flood rescues.

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-AAP

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