Council flood advice

PORT Macquarie-Hastings Council has issued the following advice.

Support for North Shore

 Settlement Point ferry is now operational.

The Hibbard ferry service will resume operation at 2.45pm on Tuesday.

Drops of essential items for North Shore residents have been organised through the SES and the Department of Community Services in conjunction with the North Shore Rural Fire Service and Ritchies IGA.

Maria River Road remains closed at the Kempsey end.

Settlement Point residents given all clear

Water levels in the Hastings River at the Settlement Point gauge have now fallen to a safe level.

The NSW SES has issued an all clearfor the following areas - Settlement Point and low lying parts of Port Macquarie CBD (including Short Street and the western section of Clarence Street). This means that it is now safe for residents to return to these areas. Other areas affected by the evacuation order are still in effect until advised.

The SES advises that returning evacuees should be aware of precautions to be taken in flood-affected areas:

* Avoid contact with flood water due to possible contamination.

* Native wildlife (including snakes and spiders) may have taken refuge in houses, sheds etc.

* Do not drink from garden hoses, taps or water supply sources that may have been exposed to floodwater.

* Practise basic personal hygiene at all times. Wash your hands regularly and before eating or handling food. Cuts and abrasions should be treated immediately.

Road closures

For up-to-date advice on road closures across Port Macquarie-Hastings click here

Current road closures for the region include:

* Forbes River Road, Forbes River

* Pembrooke Road, Pembrooke

* River Street, Wauchope

* Shoreline Drive, North Shore

* Shoreline Drive, Riverside

* Stony Creek Road

 Caution is advised on Colling Road, Comboyne

Water usage

 Residents are advised they are permitted to use hoses with a water cut-off trigger to wash away mud debris from their properties if there is a legitimate need. Brooms should also be used in conjunction with hoses to push mud away. Do not leave hoses running.

Beach conditions

Town Beach remains closed today due to the debris washing onto it from the river. It is likely to remain closed for a number of days yet.

Lifeguards have managed to open a supervised swimming area at Flynns Beach. The beach will be closely monitored for debris and tidal surges and swimmers are reminded to check with lifeguards if they are unsure of conditions.

Due to the amount of debris in the Hastings River, residents are advised to stay out of all local waterways.

Council efforts & clean-up

Council rangers were busy all weekend across the region assisting with the rescue of livestock and companion animals and on standby as backup for SES evacuation plans.

* Rangers were also called to assist in the investigation of drums washed on to Town Beach.

* More than 10 dogs recued from the streets were taken to the Council pound and later returned to their owners.

* Rescue efforts also included the retrieval of a Hereford heifer from the canals at Riverpark Road, Port Macquarie. The cow washed all the way down the Hastings River from a property at Koree Island. The cow was kept safe and secure on the back lawn of a property on Riverpark Road before being returned to its owner.

This type of event highlights the importance of ensuring your companion animals and livestock can be easily identified and their records are up to date.

Meanwhile, Council crews were busy assisting the clean-up over the weekend to ensure flood debris and fallen trees were removed from roadways and properties.

The clean-up continues today with crews concentrating on areas where roads and bridges have been severely flood-affected and to assess the cost of damages to infrastructure across the region. Areas of first priority include Rollands Plains Road, Comboyne mountain road between Byabarra and Comboyne, landslips on Beechwood Road and Stony Creek Road.

Council will be making an application for Natural Disaster Relief funding.

For further information

For the latest flood updates visit the SES website or follow the news stream on Facebook.

 * For weather updates, visit the Bureau of Meteorology website

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