Flood crisis is easing

By EMMA O'NEILL

FLOODING across the region will ease over coming days despite continued rain, the Bureau of Meteorology says.

Senior meteorologist Peter Zmijewski said yesterday scattered showers were predicted in the region up until Saturday and that areas close to the Border Ranges would be exposed to heavier rainfall.

"But at this stage we are not concerned about serious, widespread or heavy precipitation, although there are a few showers forecast in the region," he said.

Bureau flood expert, Hugh Bruist, said the odd shower would not aggravate the current situation in flooded areas.

He said river heights were predicted to fall, but that minor to moderate flooding was expected to continue overnight and throughout today from%Coraki to Woodburn.

Richmond/Tweed Region SES spokesman Phil Campbell said volunteers would continue to monitor the weather, despite the positive predictions.

"It's definitely not over yet, but we have reached the quiet stage and floodwaters are receding," Mr Campbell said.

"This will give the SES a change to manage resources and give a few SES volunteers a rest."

Mr Campbell said volunteers who had been brought in from outside the region would soon be sent home.

He said the fact the SES was downsizing was a good sign the crisis was coming to an end.

The NSW Department of Community Services will be in Kyogle today to set up a one-stop shop for people affected by the floods.

However, some properties are likely to remain isolated until Saturday. Mr Campbell said some properties were still isolated in Kyogle because bridges and roads in the area had been destroyed by the floodwaters.

"In Kyogle, six bridges and 20 approaches were destroyed, so while floodwater isn't causing problems at the moment, some people are still isolated," he said.

"There are about 25 properties in the area which we can't get to and some have elderly people in them. The SES is continuing to monitor their welfare."

Mr Campbell said access to Coraki would also remain restricted today unless the flood levels dropped overnight.

"Although Coraki is accessible, the SES has advised that only those with a high-clearance vehicle or experienced locals drive into the town," he said.

"There are also around 200 properties scattered along the valley near Coraki that remain isolated and the SES will continue to monitor their welfare."

Mr Campbell said all residents of Cabbage Tree Island near Wardell had been returned to their homes and had appreciated the help they received.



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