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SES in 'turmoil, finger pointing' over deadly floods

The state emergency service in Tasmania was filled with turmoil, a lack of clarity and finger pointing in relation to their response to deadly floods, an inquest has been told.

Latrobe resident Mary Allford, 75, died after being trapped by rising waters in her home in the state's northwest in June 2016 during widespread flooding.

The inquest has previously been told then regional SES manager Wayne Richards didn't act on calls from two colleagues to evacuate the town prior to Ms Allford's death.

Mr Richards admitted it was a mistake to not order an evacuation and he could not recall seeing major flood warnings that were issued for the Mersey River, which runs through Latrobe.

SES assistant director Leon Smith told the inquest he saw a "number of people" forming opinions about others during the event.

"There was a high level of turmoil and a lack of clarity and a lot of finger pointing internally in regards to who did what and who didn't do what," he said on Friday.

Mr Smith said a performance improvement plan was subsequently developed for Mr Richards but nothing was formally put to him about Mr Richards' performance during the 2016 floods.

Mr Smith said Mr Richards was a key member of the leadership team at regional level but at times his behaviour was not conducive to effective management.

Mr Richards previously told the inquest he was wary of "crying wolf" by ordering evacuations in some scenarios because the public would become disenchanted and not act when it was crucial.

Mr Smith said the cry-wolf-type approach had been dispelled.

"I've made decisions to disrupt people, to relocate them, based on my view of what potentially could happen rather than trying to defend not doing so," he said.

"I sleep well at night knowing ... that we've made those decisions.

"I think people have a lot of faith in the SES now in regards to our messaging."

Coroner Simon Cooper will hand down his findings at a later date.

Three people died during flooding across 19 local government areas that damaged some 130 properties.

A separate inquest has been held into the deaths of newspaper delivery driver Peter John Watson at Evandale and Ouse farmer Trevor Foster, whose body was found two years afterwards.