Macleay Action Team to hold flood response meeting

 Water surges through the Belmore River floodgates in February/March 2013.
Water surges through the Belmore River floodgates in February/March 2013.

The NSW State Emergency Service (SES), Lower Macleay Community Action Team and Kempsey Shire Council are conducting a community flood education exercise for residents of the Lower Macleay.

The event will be held at the Smithtown Bowling Club on Saturday 10th March from 9:00am to 12:00pm. The aim of the interactive hypothetical is to get residents thinking about what actions individuals and communities can take to help emergency services protect life and minimise property damage during floods.

Kempsey floods 2001.

Kempsey floods 2001.

With the five year anniversary of major flooding on the Macleay River back in February of 2013 fast approaching, the scenarios for the “table top” exercise will be based on the rainfall totals, timings and warnings that occurred during the 2013 event which saw the Macleay river peak at 7.1 metres at the Kempsey gauge.

The format of the event will include talks by local residents about their flood experiences and preparation advice for residents new to the Lower Macleay.

This will be followed by the presentation of a series of hypothetical scenarios based on the different stages of a flood event including a flood watch, moderate flooding, major flooding and the transition to recovery.

2017 March floods.

2017 March floods.

Participants working in groups with the support of NSW SES members will then be asked to think about and record what actions individuals and communities could take at the different stages of the hypothetical flood event to protect life and t property.

It is hoped that the results of the flood hypothetical can then be used to create individual emergency plans and form the basis of a community flood plan for the Lower Macleay that would complement the local emergency arrangements.

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​NSW SES Mid North Coast Region Controller, Mr Tony Day said,” Given the infrequency of floods the hypothetical exercise is a very practical way of engaging people about the potential risks and consequences of these events.

2017 March floods.

2017 March floods.

We are hoping that the results of the hypothetical will help to form the basis of a community plan.

This plan will sit alongside NSW SES Local Flood plan so that the combined resources of both the emergency services and local communities can be harnessed to prepare for, respond to and recover from flood events.” Morning tea will be provided at the hypothetical exercise followed by a BBQ.

People wanting to attend are invited to contact NSW SES Mid North Coast Region Headquarters on 6592 5800 or email mnr.admin@ses.nsw.gov.au to RSVP and receive the pre event information pack.