VIDEO: Worst flooding in years

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VIDEO: Short St in Port Macquarie on Sunday morning

HOMES have been evacuated, many properties inundated and State Emergency Service volunteers are stretched to the limit – tackling some of the worst flooding to hit the Hastings in more than a decade.

Certain communities are still isolated, with fast flowing waters causing a Settlement Point ferry cable to snap.

Riverside Drive resident Tim Hitchins said the majority of homes on the North Shore had been inundated.

“Most of the houses on the northern end of Settlement Point were filled with waist-deep water yesterday,” he said. “Even now on low tide there is still a lot of water.”

Mr Hitchins said many long-time locals believed this to be the worst flooding they’d seen in the area.

Meanwhile, road closures and minor flooding affected a number of businesses in low-lying parts of the CBD.

On Saturday evening stores on Clarence and Short Street shut-up shop, and power outages made it tough for those who decided to stay open.

Almost 200 of people passed through the local evacuation centre at Port Macquarie Panthers. Among them, was 67-year-old Doug Bolar from Rollands Plains.

With nothing but the boots on his feet, shirt on his back and a spare pair of jeans in his car, he was waiting to get back to his property. But despite having to resort to sleeping in the back of his four-wheel drive, Mr Bolar remained positive.

“I just think if I’m copping it, everyone else is copping it too,” he said. “What can you do – this is just a part of living in Australia.”

It is the second time wild weather has struck the region, in just one month.

State Emergency Service Deputy Controller Rescue Michael Ward said  conditions were improving slowly, but water was not subsiding as quickly as expected.

“I've been here in town for seven years, and it's the largest event we've seen yet,” Mr Ward said.

River levels from the weekend are the first to have come close to the flood records of 1978. SES volunteers took part in eight flood rescues and attended some 200 other call outs. The majority of jobs received were for fallen trees and sandbags.

Three flood rescues were for cattle and five were serious evacuations of North Shore residents who left it too late to leave their homes.

“A mammoth effort has been put in by the members of the Port Macquarie-Hastings SES this weekend,” Mr Ward said. “With assistance from local RFS crews and many other organisations, we have managed to minimise the damaging effect from the weather received across the area,” he said yesterday afternoon.

Click on the image above to see more photos from Port Macquarie's North Shore

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