THE Hastings and Camden Haven are under water after an intense three-day weather cell unleashed a record-breaking deluge not seen across some parts of the region for more than 50 years.
Major flooding across the Mid North Coast will continue throughout today (March 20) as rain and strong winds track south to the Hunter and parts of Sydney.
At 9pm Friday night, the Kindee Bridge peaked at 12.1m, exceeding the floods of 2013 and nudging a record set more than 130 years ago in 1888 when the river broke 12.6m.
The Camden Haven River ripped a path through Logans Crossing, peaking at 8.7 metres on Friday evening.
Minor flooding is occurring at Laurieton, with a major 1.7 metre flood peak expected with today's high tide. This peak will exceed the 1978 record flood level.
Major flooding is also expected at Settlement Point today (Saturday) exceeding the 2013 event which saw widespread destruction of property.
The river level is likely to exceed 2.4 metres at the 1pm high tide.
Port Macquarie-Hastings mayor Peta Pinson and council CEO Dr Clare Allen will be appealing to the state and federal government for financial assistance to assist in what will be a multi-million dollar clean-up bill.
"We're certainly in good hands as far as this emergency is concerned. The problem we have is there isn't enough hands," Cr Pinson said.
"What I would say to our community is that you've heard about driving through flood waters - 15cms will carry your car away. It's a selfish act to be out on the roads.
"You are putting yourselves at risk and you are pulling emergency service assistance away from those who truly need it. We are not out of this yet.
"This will be like the flood of 1968. Our real work will be once the deluge is over and the waters recede. We are going to see great pressure on our sewerage networks, trees are down and with repairing roads."
It is likely the region will be declared a natural disaster zone.
Hastings River flood records:
- January 1968: Wauchope, 9.50m
- August 1963: Settlement Point, 2.55m
- January 1888: Kindee Bridge, 12.60m
(Source: State Emergency Service)
Residents living in outlying areas of Rawdon Island, Rollands Plains, Telegraph Point, Hacks Ferry, Ballengarra, Pappinbarra and Comboyne are experiencing isolation, power outages and phone issues.
Some residents required airlifting from their homes while stock has been lost in swollen rivers.
NSW SES ordered residents in low-lying areas of North Haven, Dunbogan, Diamond Head and foreshore areas of Laurieton and Settlement Point in Port Macquarie to evacuate on Friday.
Wauchope Showground has opened the gates for people needing to evacuate stock.
Floodwaters from that "perfect storm" on February 23 saw more than 415mm of rain dumped across the region in less than 24 hours.
It was a one-in-35-year event and the worst recorded since 1978.
The floods decimated the local oyster industry wiping out more than $500,000 in stock and infrastructure.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council estimated more than $1 million in damage to public infrastructure along more than 16 riverside sites. The worst impacted was Rocks Ferry Reserve at Wauchope.
A further 12 bridges and causeways suffered extensive damage. An estimated $250,000 worth of gravel replacement costs and unsealed road segment repairs.
Acting Govenor-General Marie Bashir paid a visit to the flood-damaged region and declared it a natural disaster zone.
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