03 Dec 2021, 5:03 PM UTC
Boggabilla residents breathe sigh of relief as town avoids flooding
Residents of the New South Wales town of Boggabilla are breathing a sigh of relief as the Macintyre River steadies and floodwaters stop short of the town, with no significant rainfall early Saturday morning. The border towns of Boggabilla and Toomelah were evacuated on Friday ahead of expected flooding and while the rivers did not rise to the expected peaks, the towns remain isolated with the access roads closed due to inundation. Boggabilla resident Gary Roberts, who lives three streets from the river, said everyone was "pretty happy" and had what they needed. "Today everyone is happy as hell, there's no water in the town," Mr Roberts said. "Most people knew what was going to happen and went and got everything. We've all got bread in the freezer so I think everyone's right. "If someone doesn't have something they need, the rest of the people around town will give them food or whatever. "The big thing is, the people that went to Moree are stuck over there." Hundreds in emergency accommodation About 200 people have registered for the Moree Evacuation Centre at the Moree East Public School. The NSW Department of Community and Justice has placed 200 people in emergency accommodation since Friday. A department spokesperson says they will continue to support flood victims in the region, with government and non-government partners, and respond to local needs as they evolve. 'Bit better than last night' State Emergency Service (SES) Deputy Zone Commander Mitchell Parker said the co-ordinated operation around Boggabilla and Toomelah was working well and there had been no major incidents. Toomelah Lands Council Rex Weribone said about half the population in the small community chose to evacuate to Moree and all those who stayed were safe. "People are feeling a bit better than last night," Mr Weribone said. "We've been working with the SES and all the services to make sure we are all safe." Waiting for the roads to open Mr Roberts said there was also a visible contingent of authorities in Boggabilla, as the town waited for the roads to open and life as normal to resume. "There are heaps of SES, fire brigade, fire and rescue [officers], there's extra police, everything [is] pretty good and normal. "I'm hoping in the next 24 hours we can go to Goondiwindi." There remains a major flood warning for Boggabilla and Goondiwindi, however the flood is expected to have peaked.