Final update Wednesday 6pm
While for many the clean-up began in the sunshine today, residents are reminded that the BoM issued a further moderate flood warning for the Macleay River this morning.
The River has risen at Georges Creek today and is currently rising at Bellbrook.
The River may reach a peak at the moderate level (around 5.7m) in Kempsey overnight or early Thursday morning as outlined in the BoM warning.
Based on this rise and the volume of water in the flood plain, Hat Head and Crescent Head are expected to remain isolated for a number of days and roads may continue to have to close at short notice.
The Minor to Moderate flood warning remains in place covering Georges Creek, Bellbrook, Kempsey and Smithtown.
The evacuation orders for Kempsey CBD and low-lying areas of the Lower Macleay remain in place.
Flood waters, damaged roads and closed bridges mean around 2000 people remain isolated around the shire, including Hat Head, Crescent Head and some upriver communities.
South West Rocks is no longer isolated despite the closure of South West Rocks Road as Summer Island Road and Plummers Lane (between Macleay Valley Way and Jerseyville) are passable.
A large landslip has occurred on the Kempsey-Armidale Road at around 1am on Wednesday.
The landslip is located approximately 500m to the Kempsey side of Schoolhouse Creek.
One lane of the road has been reopened.
The Macleay River at Kempsey may reach the moderate flood level (5.7m) overnight Wednesday into Thursday.
The Macleay River at Smithtown may reach the moderate flood level (4m) overnight Wednesday into Thursday.
The Macleay River at Georges Creek peaked at 9.1m around 5.45am Wednesday and is currently falling with moderate flooding.
The Macleay River at Bellbrook is expected to peak near 8.5m around 5pm Wednesday with minor flooding.
The floodwaters are receding and now the clean-up begins.
During the flood, many people across the Kempsey Shire experienced damage and loss to properties and livestock.
To find out what financial assistance is available call Service NSW's Disaster Customer Care Service on 13 77 88 or visit their website, Disaster relief for individuals and families
Mental health resources
This flood crisis has put a strain on everyone in the community and everyone will respond to it in a different way. It is normal and expected for many people to feel stressed and overwhelmed by the events that have occurred.
If you are concerned about your own mental health or someone you know, you can call the Mental Health Line run by the NSW Department of Health on 1800 011 511.
Or call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
SES Evacuation Orders remain in place for low lying areas of the Lower Macleay and for the Kempsey CBD.
Evacuation Centres remain open at the Kempsey Showground, the South West Rocks Country Club and Crescent Head Public School.
Community members who have been asked to evacuate are encouraged to seek assistance from friends and family in the first instance, but if that is not possible, head to an evacuation centre.
SES Evacuation Orders are in place for:
- Low lying areas of the Lower Macleay
- Kempsey CBD
Evacuation Centres remain open at:
- Kempsey Showground - 19 Sea Street, West Kempsey
- South West Rocks Country Club - 2 Sportsmans Way, South West Rocks
- Crescent Head Public School
River levels and trends
The following gauge and manual readings are being used to monitor the situation:
- Georges Creek - 7.89m at 4pm - FALLING from 8.80 at 11am.
- Bellbrook - 8.25m at 4pm - RISING from 7.90m at 11am.
- Toorooka - 7.60m at 5pm - RISING from 7.20m at 11am.
- Turners Flat - 6.91m at 4pm - RISING from 6.79m at 11am.
- Sherwood Bridge - 6.92m at 4.50pm - STEADY from 6.82m at 10:15am.
- Kempsey Traffic Bridge - 5.19m at 4.45pm - STEADY from 5.20m at 11.15am.
- Smithtown - 3.41m at 4.45pm - STEADY from 3.45m at 6.45am
Alternate river level/rainfall information is available from the Bureau of Meteorology website. www.bom.gov.au/nsw/flood/midnorth.shtml
- Turners Flat Bridge is CLOSED.
- Sherwood Bridge is CLOSED.
- Bellbrook Bridge is CLOSED.
- Temagog Bridge is CLOSED.
- Toorooka Bridge is CLOSED.
- Dungay Creek, Moparrabah Road and Dowling's Falls causeways are CLOSED.
There have been multiple reports of damaged bridges Council teams are actively working to repair these roads:
- Silvermine Bridge, Toorumbee Bridge and McCoys Bridge on Willi Willi Road.
- Anderburg Bridge on Temagog Road.
- Sundowner Bridge on Sundowner Road.
Council is not able to guarantee the status of all roads at this time and are focusing attention on key routes including the Kempsey CBD.
People travelling in this weather are doing so at their own risk and are advised to exercise extreme caution and drive to the conditions.
Locals can view current road closures by visiting the Live Traffic NSW website here.
Roads within the Kempsey CBD are impacted by localised flooding, and may be impacted by riverine flooding.
- Macleay Valley Way between Kempsey and Frederickton is CLOSED with sandbags in place.
- Macleay Valley Way between Stuarts Point interchange and the Smithtown Road is CLOSED (updated 3:10pm).
- Macleay Valley Way between Frederickton and Smithtown Road is OPEN (updated 3:10pm).
- Crescent Head Road at Rudders Lagoon is CLOSED.
- Crescent Head Road at the Corduroy is CLOSED.
- South West Rocks Road is CLOSED from Kinchela to Jerseyville.
- Access to South West Rocks is possible via Summer Island Road and Plummers Lane (between Macleay Valley Way and Jerseyville) which are passable.
- Hat Head Road is CLOSED at South West Rocks Road.
- Plummers Lane is CLOSED at Macleay Valley Way.
- Armidale Road between Raspberry Road and Blackbird Flat is OPEN (updated 4.50pm).
- Some roads within the low-lying area of the CBD remain CLOSED.
- The access between East Kempsey and West Kempsey is OPEN.
- Due to a landslip, Armidale Road at Schoolhouse Creek has ONE LANE OPEN. It is anticipated that one lane could remain in place for a number of days as resources are currently stretched.
- Eden Street, Kempsey is CLOSED.
- The Gladstone Street / Kemp Street rail underpass is CLOSED.
- Lighthouse Road at South West Rocks is CLOSED.
- Queen Street, South Kempsey is CLOSED.
- Rudder Street (north of Bissett Street), East Kempsey is CLOSED.
- Sea Street, between Marsh and Dangar Streets, West Kemspey is CLOSED.
- Wide Street, between Kemp and Sea Street is CLOSED.
- Old Aerodrome Road is CLOSED.
- Euroka Road is CLOSED.
- Collombatti Road is CLOSED from app. Last Ridge Lane to Tamban Road.
- Saleyards Road is CLOSED.
- Verges Creek Road is CLOSED.
- Mines Road is CLOSED.
- Theresa Street is CLOSED.
- Second Lane is CLOSED.
- Maria River Road is CLOSED.
- Hickeys Creek Road is CLOSED.
- Spooners Avenue is OPEN.
- Gowings Hill Road at Dungay Creek is CLOSED.
- Kemp Street between North and Wide Streets is CLOSED.
- Loftus Road (Belmore River end) at Crescent Head is CLOSED.
- Belmore River RIght & Left Bank Roads are CLOSED.
- Old Station Road (Pola Creek area) is CLOSED.
- Willi Willi Road west of Silvermine Bridge is CLOSED. Sundowner Road is CLOSED
Kempsey LGA - 63 customers without power
Kempsey crews were able to get the power back on to over 100 customers across the Macleay Valley today.
Essential Energy restored power to over 60 customers in the Willawarrin and Toorooka areas this afternoon, with further work to take place over the next day to remove trees on lines and make further repairs to restore power to remaining customers.
Crews remain hopeful of restoring power to a number of customers in the Dungay Creek area this afternoon, noting some customers will be without power through to the weekend due to further access requirements.
Six customers remain without power in Kundabung with further patrols of the electricity network in this area continuing - it is hoped power can be restored over the next 24 hours.
Unfortunately, a number of customers in Toorumbee will remain without power possibly through until the weekend as crews need to replace three power poles, and access remains unavailable.
The most recent images from flood cameras on the Macleay River are available at https://beta.kempsey.nsw.gov.au/Environment/Emergencies/Flood-information
The flood monitoring camera at Sherwood Bridge, west of Kempsey, is focused on the bridge deck so residents can see if the bridge is being affected by flooding. Images are updated every 30 minutes. Please note the time stamp is set to Australian Eastern Standard Time NOT to Australian Eastern Daylight Saving Time.
The flood monitoring camera at Kempsey Traffic Bridge is focused on the base of the bridge to assess water levels in town.
- The flood gates on Kinchela Creek, Belmore River, Christmas Creek and Euroka Creek are CLOSED.
- Flood relief gates at Kinchela Creek and Belmore River are OPEN.
- Big Hill and Ryan's Cut have been opened to the ocean
Residents and visitors are urged to remain cautious on the roads for localised impacts and not attempt to drive through floodwaters or cross flooded bridges.
Council welcomes advice from residents in outlying areas regarding any concerns which may be reported to council on 6566 3200.
For emergency help in floods and storms, call the NSW State Emergency Service on 132 500. In life threatening situations call triple zero (000) immediately.