Council defensive over flood signage complaintsThursday March 7, 2013 - 07:23 EDT
The mayor of Dungog has deflected criticism there was not enough publicity about flooded roads in the region this week.
The State Emergency Service says many people drove through floodwaters in parts of the Hunter, with some forced to leave their cars stranded.
However, some residents around the Paterson and Williams River Valleys have told the ABC they were frustrated by a lack of information about local road closures.
Mayor Harold Johnston says the situation was changing quickly and the council and SES staff did the best they could.
"Signs get put out very promptly," he said.
"But of course what happens is that an hour later the water goes down and someone drives around the sign.
"So you can't be everywhere at once and once again it depends on our community and visitors being aware."
The mayor says rebuilding roads around the shire after this week's floods is another hit the council cannot afford.
Crews are working to urgently repair large potholes and road damage sustained when more than 300 millimetres of rain lashed the region over the last fortnight.
Councillor Harold Johnston says the council was only just getting on top of repairs from the last flood in 2011, and this is another setback.
"It's more than a few potholes, it's a lot potholes and it is a huge burden on this community.
"Bearing in mind we have 714 kilometres of road.
"It's a lot for 8,600 people to look after, so it continues to be a huge burden."
© ABC 2013
More breaking news
Australia's Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has released modelling showing the latest El Nino cycle is over, but could now lead to a wet winter after a devastating 14 months of drought and famine across the Pacific.
As drought bites hard on large parts of remote Australia, taking its toll on the health and finances of isolated communities, the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) is more important than ever.
The Australian snow season is a fickle beast and this year will be no different, but there should be great joy in the end.