Remarkable video filmed at a NSW dam has laid bare the devastation communities are facing during a period of unrelenting flooding in the state's Central West.
What's been described as a "wall of water" can be seen spilling from the Wyangala Dam, exasperating flooding along the Lachlan River, particularly in Forbes which has again faced extreme flooding that is likely to equal a record set 70 years ago. The town's residents were told on Tuesday morning to evacuate for a second time in two weeks.
The dam is spilling a record 230,000 megalitres a day. The extreme amount of water can be seen engulfing the landscape, with tree canopies barely visible as the water roars past.
"So frightening," one person wrote on the video shared by NSW RFS South West Slopes Zone to Facebook, which has so far garnered more than 1.1 million views in less than 24 hours.
Eugowra resident Janet told ABC News 24 she witnessed a "huge wave" moving through the fields and heading for her home.
"It just came and it sort of lifted the whole house up and with a terrific crash and creaking, swept the house halfway down the block," she recalled.
Janet said she was left for hours in freezing waters up to her waist as she stood on a chair in her home. She was eventually rescued by a group of men wading through the water.
About 150 people were rescued on Monday from roofs in the town, which is east of Forbes and is linked to the Lachlan River by Mandagary Creek. The SES said 160 emergency service personnel deployed to the area.
SES Chief Superintendent Dallas Burnes said people in Eugowra were shocked at how quickly the water level had risen.
"The velocity was extremely fast — too fast in many cases to put boats in the water — hence the evacuations we performed yesterday with the 12 assets we had on hand via helicopter," he told Nine's Today Show.
We've deployed emergency teams to #Eugowra, in the state's Central West, which has been inundated by intense floodwaters. A specialist in-water rescue team and a strike team leader left FRNSW headquarters in Sydney this afternoon, bound for the township 🚒 pic.twitter.com/vVfn45yiZc
— Fire and Rescue NSW (@FRNSW) November 14, 2022
NSW Premier committed to long-term fix
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet on Tuesday morning was pressed on whether the government should be making a significant financial effort in regional areas to raise walls of regional dams, regardless of the benefit-cost ratio.
"One focus obviously is the economic side of these decisions, but ultimately what is more important is the protection of human life and property and that's what I'm focused on," he told reporters, adding work was underway to raise the wall of the Wyangala Dam.
The Bureau of Meteorlogy warned there will be flooding in the days to come for those further down the Lachlan River, including Condobolin.
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