SES back to normal after floods

By HELEN JACK helen.jack@northernstar.com.au

IT is time to send the troops home.

That is the news from State Emergency Services regional controller Scott Hanckel, who yesterday declared an end to the flood disaster response.

"All units will revert to normal duties," he said. "It's a great relief.

"We have been going non-stop for two weeks and it's time to stop.

"I have some very tired troops and they need a break. "It's been a hard slog we've had a hail storm, a tornado and then hit with a flood and we are only half way through the summer season."

Mr Hanckel said during a three-hour recovery meeting yesterday that federal, state and local government agencies, as well as emergency services, had met to 'work through all the issues and solve problems'.

"The SES is no longer the lead agency in the flood," he said.

At the meeting, leaders of the other agencies said the SES response to the disaster was magnificent and volunteers needed a huge 'thank you' from the community.

"They had to respond at short notice to a very dangerous flood situation.

"We had volunteers from all over NSW and many interrupted their holidays to come and help."

Mr Hanckel said the SES would now enter a review phase where all the information gathered during the flood will be sifted through.

"It will take months and we don't expect to finish the review until April," he said.

"We would like people to tell us in writing what they saw during the flood and include any pictures so we can relate that information to gauge readings.

"There have been flood planners here all week and we continually review our flood plans."



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