Residents told to evacuate as flood waters rise in regional Australia

Residents told to evacuate as flood waters rise in regional Australia

SYDNEY: Hundreds of residents in major regional towns across Australia’s most populous state are being urged to leave homes as slow-moving floodwaters push downstream and the country’s fourth major flood crisis this year rolls into a second month.

Authorities are urging residents to evacuate from parts of the New South Wales regional towns of Wagga Wagga, Gunnedah, and Forbes, collectively home to roughly 90,000. Flooding at Forbes, roughly 5 hours drive west of Sydney, could hit a 70-year high on Friday (Nov 4).

Across Australia’s most populous state, emergency services conducted 15 flood rescues in the 24 hours to Thursday morning. One hundred and four emergency warnings are in place.

“It is a long list of rivers in flood in New South Wales, with our greatest concern at the moment being for the Lachlan River at Forbes,” the state’s emergency services senior manager Ashley Sullivan said in a video statement.

“We are expecting major flooding in the next couple of days equivalent to probably the 1952 flooding in that area.”

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