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Baby freed from danger, residents face a week of flooding

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A pregnant woman trapped by rising waters when her water broke has given birth safely after a dramatic rescue.

Mother Mamata Pun Rama who gave birth to a healthy boy for the first time after rescuers transported her through the NSW town of UKTN.

Rising rivers have cut the city in half, creating “islands,” and about 500 properties have been subject to evacuation orders.

Baby Imaan was born at UKTN hospital, “unaware of the incredible circumstances surrounding his delivery,” a hospital spokesperson told media.

SES volunteer Ryan Jones, who carried out the rescue, said the woman was cut off by flooding in northern UKTN and that she needed help crossing the flooded roads to get to the hospital with her midwife.

“The water was too deep and too dangerous for private vehicles, so the only way for us to access this patient was through our high-clearance vehicles,” he said.

Another person was rescued from his car after becoming trapped by rising waters near the center of the city.

Chitra and Mamata Pun Rama with baby Imaan at UKTN Hospital. Photo: Western New South Wales Local Health District.

The Lachlan River in NSW’s central western city is expected to begin retreating on Sunday, but authorities have warned that downstream communities are still at risk.

Several communities in NSW remain vigilant for flooding as authorities warn of floodwater flowing downstream.

The Lachlan River stood steady at 10.66 meters on Saturday night – just below its highest level in 70 years – and the waters are expected to begin to recede on Sunday.

However, SES UKTN unit commander Robert “Rocky” Walshaw warned it would be a slow process.

As for when the cleanup efforts could begin, he said: “It could be almost a week. It comes up very slowly, and it will go down very slowly. It takes a long time to empty.”

The water had spilled into many homes in lowland areas and also reached business areas, Mr Walshaw said.

“I’ve seen images of it from the air, from the (helicopters), and it’s just water everywhere,” he told AAP on Saturday.

“This morning at 3:30 am we got calls from people who had to be evacuated because they didn’t expect the water to come to them.

“We had about six in the early morning hours.”

The city of UKTN could face flooding for a week. Photo: AAP

In the 24 hours to 4 p.m. on Saturday, the NSW SES had handled nearly 280 requests for aid statewide and carried out 27 floods.

In the previous week, they had received more than 2,600 requests for aid and responded to more than 130 flood rescues.

A number of major flood warnings remained in effect in NSW Saturday night, including for the Lachlan, Namoi, Bogan, Macquarie, Murrumbidgee, Murray, Edward, Culgoa, Birrie, Bokhara and Narran rivers.

There was moderate flooding at Wagga Wagga on Saturday, with possible major flooding at Narrandera on Tuesday.

Renewed increases were likely at Carrathool and further downstream at Hay, with increases in the latter likely from mid-November.

Emergency Relief Minister Steph Cooke said on Saturday that the water affecting Wagga Wagga and UKTN was flowing downstream and that the risk of major flooding for several communities remained.

“While we are experiencing a reprieve from the weather and it is in fact wonderful to see some blue skies, the risk has not diminished with regard to the amount of water in our river systems, passing through our communities and affecting our lives, ” she said.

Victoria

More than 40 flood warnings continued across the border in Victoria on Saturday night, with authorities warning those in Kenley on the Murray River in the rural town of Swan Hill to evacuate immediately.

Water levels near Mildura are expected to continue to rise in November before reaching a possible peak in December.

Along the Murray River at Echuca and Moama, major flooding would continue into next week, although water levels fell.

-with MONKEY

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