Comboyne, one of the NSW towns hardest hit with rain, is, ironically, having trouble accessing water.
Comboyne, which lies west of Port Macquarie, has recorded a whopping 889mm of rain since Thursday morning.
But Mayor Peta Pinson of the Port-Macquarie Hastings Council told the Guardian that a break in the water main has cut off the town’s access to drinkable water.
“We had a water mains break, which might have been because of enormous pressure due to the storm, but we are doing investigations,” Pinson said.
“Thankfully a lot of people up there are already on tank water, which they have plenty of. No one is going to go thirsty, it’s just a huge inconvenience. Our people in the more west regions, they are really tight-knit communities … so our job is to get the water main fixed as quickly as possible.”
Residents have been advised to preserve and bottle water, as the water main could take two or three days to restore.
The region usually has fairly high rainfall, so while over 800mm in less than a week is excessive, Pinson said the valleys are running off really well.
Even so, Comboyne Road and Lorne Road is currently closed, according to the Port Macquarie News, and some locals have taken to Twitter, worried they could become isolated due to flooding.
Mayor Peta Pinson of the Port-Macquarie Hastings Council told Guardian Australia that the region is watching, and bracing, for the next 24 hours of rain.
“We don’t know what sort of rainfall we will receive in the coming day – it could be anything between 80mm to 200mm, but we’ve already got our water tables saturated, the ground can’t take any more, our rivers and creeks are swollen,” Pinson said.
“We are just waiting for this crisis to come to an end so we can actually get on the recovery phase.”
NSW’s mid-north coast is facing the worst flooding conditions since 1929. Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters this morning that around 15,000 mid-north coast residents had been evacuated.
Pinson said that residents are anxious to return to their homes.
“They are terrified of what they are going to come across.”
She added that they are seeing a spike in panic buying after the Pacific Highway was blocked by flood waters, stopping food delivery trucks from entering the region and replenishing supermarket stores.
“There is a long way to go when the rains stop, and I think the shock of the magnitude of the damage is going to be quite surprising and I’m not prepared for it myself,” she said.
“We have such a pretty region, we are known for it because of the people who holiday with us … and we are a bit of a mess at the moment.”