Coles and Woolworths shelves left empty as floods cut supplies

Ash Cant and Australian Associated Press
·4-min read

The unprecedented flooding in NSW has greatly impacted communities all over the state, and the road closures due to the torrential rain and flooding are impacting supermarkets.

More than 18,000 people across the state have been evacuated due to the flooding and the rain is expected to hang around until Wednesday.

The road closures have resulted in stock issues for supermarkets in affected areas — with both Coles and Woolworths acknowledging shortages, due to deliveries of stock being delayed.

Coles and Woolworths customers may experience stock shortages due to the NSW floods. Source: AAP/Getty Images
Coles and Woolworths customers may experience stock shortages due to the NSW floods. Source: AAP/Getty Images

In Kempsey, on the Mid North Coast, both Coles and Woolworths stores are closed after the CBD was evacuated on Sunday night due to expected flooding.

“Our team members have been working hard to keep our stores open and stocked for customers where possible, however some products are in low supply or out of stock as deliveries have been delayed by road and rail closures," a Coles spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia.

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Coles distribution centres are preparing replenishment orders for stores in areas which have been impacted and deliveries will be dispatched when it is safe to do so.

A Woolworths spokesperson said customers at Mid North Coast and Far North Coast stores may notice a shortage of fresh produce due to road closures.

"We’ve rearranged our delivery routes into the region and our teams are working to ensure shelves are replenished with fresh produce as soon as possible," a Woolworths spokesperson confirmed.

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Woolworths is anticipating stock levels to improve in the next 24 hours, and some stores will see fresh deliveries arriving on Monday.

"We thank our customers for their patience as we work to return to normal supply, and apologise for the inconvenience, particularly in these trying times," the spokesperson said.

Floods impact Australia Post deliveries

The excessive flooding has impacted Australia Post services in some areas, with limited delivery services in some areas.

"Several regions across NSW and QLD have been evacuated due to flooding, and many others have road closures and detours in place, impacting our ability to deliver to these areas," Australia Post said.

"We have limited delivery to the following postcodes: 2424, 2426, 2427, 4229, 2430, 2440, 2441, 2756, 2750, 2751, 2578, 4114, & 4207."

Due to the flooding, several post offices are currently closed:

  • Windsor

  • Richmond

  • Macksville

  • Kempsey

  • Taree

  • Wingham

  • Gorokan

  • Bellingen

  • Dyers Crossing

  • Flynns Beach

  • Gladstone

  • Glenreagh

  • Krachback

  • Stuarts Point

  • Richmond North

  • Wilberforce

  • Wisemans Ferry

  • Long Jetty

Australia Post also said North Haven, Purfleet and Seal Rocks community postal agencies have also closed.

Australia Post said deliveries are still being carried out, if it is safe to do so.

'Worst flooding that I've experienced,' BoM forecaster says

NSW's top forecaster says the record-breaking floods coursing through many of the state's towns are the worst he's seen - and there's more torrential rain to come.

"I've been a flood forecaster in the Bureau for 20 years and this is probably the worst flooding that I've experienced and I've had to forecast," flood manager Justin Field said.

Homes have been swept away, livelihoods ruined and thousands evacuated amid relentless rain that has thrashed the coast for days.

Onlookers watch the submerged New Windsor Bridge at Windsor in the north west of Sydney, Monday, March 22, 2021.
Thousands of residents are fleeing their homes, schools are shut, and scores of people have been rescued as NSW is hit by once-in-a-generation flooding. Source: AAP

Eighteen thousand people have been evacuated and there are 40 flood warnings current, with more people expected to be asked to leave on Monday.

Seven of the warnings cover areas in western Sydney

Some locations have seen almost a metre of rain in one week, the Bureau of Meteorology says.

More rain is set to come, as the trough that has been causing the havoc is due to collide with another system coming in from the southwest.

It is possible Sydney and the Mid North Coast could receive another 100mm of rain in the next day or so, and a season's worth of rain is possible in the west.

With AAP

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