The Kempsey shire council estimates initial damage from the latest flooding will top $2 million.
Director of Infrastructure Services Robert Scott said it will take up to six months for a thorough inspection of council infratructure.
He said the initial claim only covers essential infrastructure like roads, drains and bridges.
Mr Scott said most damage is in remote areas.
"Much of our damage is in areas that you don't regularly see and no-one regularly observes," he said.
"So it does take us six months to get around to the expansive area that we're responsible for and really get a good idea of what has and hasn't failed.
"In some of our more remote infrastructure it is things like the levy banks and rock protection of the river systems that could be easily eroded."
Mr Scott said even with the natural disaster declaration, the council will face a massive repair bill.
"Significant infrastructure isn't actually included in what's covered under the natural disaster arrangements," he said.
"Also if the infrastructure wasn't in very good condition prior to the event then it's likely that it won't be covered.
"There are things like if the road hasn't been resealed regularly and there's already cracks and potholes in the surface.
"Then water damage from the flood event won't be covered because it was easily able to get into the road."
© ABC 2013
19:48 EST A large and powerful easterly swell is filling in along the east coast of Australia.