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Pacific Highway still cut as floods slowly recede

Tuesday February 26, 2013 - 10:27 EDT
Audience submitted image
The Macleay River floods through properties in this street in Smithtown, downstream of Kempsey, at the weekend. - Audience submitted

The Pacific Highway remains cut between Kempsey and Clybucca, and again near Grafton, as floodwaters take time to subside on the New South Wales north and mid-north coast.

Patchy rain is falling again in Kempsey this morning, as the region continues to recover from the weekend inundation.

The State Emergency Service (SES) does not believe the overnight and morning showers will cause more problems.

Across the state more that 22,000 people remain cut off by floodwaters, 10,000 of those are in the Macleay Shire

While the towns in this region have mostly been spared, large swathes or agricultural land is under water and herds of livestock are crowded on to small islands.

Eight river systems along the coast are in flood but all are steady or falling.

The SES says it has now moved into the recovery and resupply phase of the natural disaster.

May Gill from the Kempsey SES says it is hard to come to terms with the extent of the flood damage.

"It's very depressing to see the devastation to the dairy farms and the pastoral land down on the Lower Macleay around Smithtown, Gladstone in that area," she said.

"Lots and lots of water and lost of people with properties being flooded, cattle stranded so definitely devastating."

The Deputy Premier and Member for Oxley Andrew Stoner is concerned the constant flooding could be too much for some north coast primary producers.

In the 1950s, major flooding in the region saw many farmers walk off their properties and never return.

Mr Stoner says he hopes the same thing will not happen to this generation of farmers.

"Everyone of these [floods] take out fencing, they kill livestock, they set them back from season to season," he said.

"If you get one every season, it's only a question of time before people start to think maybe there's a better living to pursue than to be on the land, and have to put up with this year after year sometimes multiple times a year."


© ABC 2013

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