The NSW State Emergency Service has clocked up its largest operational response ever to help those affected by recent floods across the state.
The mostly volunteer-based service responded to more than 20,000 requests for assistance since the record flooding began across inland NSW almost three months ago.
As well as performing flood rescues, the service has assisted with evacuations, delivered essential supplies to isolated residents, saved stranded animals and helped repair storm damage.
Over 3000 of the calls came from Forbes and Condobolin on the Lachlan River, which reached record levels last month and inundated thousands of homes.
Residents near the Namoi and Mehi rivers in northern NSW made more than 1600 calls for assistance when the banks broke.
NSW SES Assistant Commissioner Sean Kearns said the last three months had kept all areas of the agency extremely busy.
“NSW SES volunteers, along with inter-agency and international support, have worked incredibly hard to support communities who have been affected,” Mr Kearns said.
The threat is far from over for many towns, with current areas of concern the Lachlan River at Hillston, the Edward River at Moulamein and the Murray River at Wakool Junction.
As the immense volumes of water continue to travel downstream, catchments across NSW and into the South Australian riverine system are expected to see slow but significant inundations.
As a result, the SES is planning for potential major flooding to impact communities through to the end of February next year.
“Despite a slight respite in the weather, blue sky flooding continues,” Mr Kearns said.
“Now is the time to remain aware of the warnings and to prepare your properties and business for the potential of storms and further flooding.”