Forbes: Emergency warnings as floods sweep NSW

Emergency services have conducted hundreds of flood rescues in the past 24 hours as wet weather continues to devastate regional NSW.

Floodwaters have closed sections of three state-controlled roads in the town of Forbes in NSW, with drivers forced to divert their travel routes.

Water levels continued to increase overnight across Sheriff St, forcing the closure of the Newell Hwy in both directions between Cross St and Dowling St on Saturday morning.

Traffic controls are in place, which is adding about five minutes to the journey for motorists.

Lachlan Valley Way and The Escort Way remain closed, but local and rural roads remain open.

“We are committed to maintaining access wherever possible and implementing measures to keep the road network open, but the safety of all road users is always our number one priority,” Regional Transport and Roads Minister Sam Farraway said in a statement.

“We urge all motorists to slow down, drive to the conditions and remember if it’s flooded, forget it.

“It is likely that some sections of the state’s road network will have suffered significant damage due to being inundated with floodwater over a long period of time.

“Where pavement repairs are required, we will maintain access to the network wherever possible.”

Mr Farraway said crews were making the most of weather breaks to do emergency repairs.

The NSW State Emergency Service said over the past 24 hours it had received 213 requests for assistance and conducted seven flood rescues for people trapped in vehicles, animal rescues, and medical evacuations across the state.

There are currently 63 flood warnings across NSW – nine at emergency level, 29 at watch and act, and 28 at advice level.

Forbes remains a focus, with the Iron Bridge River gauge hitting major flood level on Friday.

There have now been 2200 residents across the community and 250 dwellings affected.

Southern zone commander Benjamin Pickup said authorities were seeing rivers rise and more properties throughout southern NSW affected.

“As we keep an eye on the dynamic situation, we continue to remind individuals to check for regular updates and to stay prepared,” he said.

“Despite clear skies, there is still water moving downstream and it is more important than ever to remind the community that if it’s flooded, forget it.

“Utilising the Live Traffic website prior to your weekend plans is a great way to avoid being stuck in flood water.”

Meanwhile, the Oxley Hwy remains closed between Warren and Collie in the state’s west.

Crews are continuing to monitor the highway between Warren and Nevertire where there is water on the road, with a reduced speed limit of 40km/h in place.

Wee Waa also remains isolated, with the Kamilaroi Hwy closed between Merah North and Narrabri.

The highway is expected to remain closed as crews wait for floodwaters to recede.

Read related topics:Weather

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