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Cleanup begins as floods move downstream

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Residents of flood-affected NSW communities are slowly returning to assess the damage as water peaks in several inland towns.

The Lachlan River near UKTN in the state’s central west peaked at about 10.7 meters on Saturday, just short of a 1952 record.

Water in the city, which has been effectively cut in half by road closures, subsided on Sunday morning, although it was still too early to gauge the impact of the flooding.

State Emergency Service Superintendent Ashley Sullivan said the city was dealing with major flooding that had a significant impact on the community.

“It’s going to be a few days of emergency relief in this community until these floods recede and then we can go in and do those damage assessments,” he told UKTN TV.

SES UKTN unit commander Robert “Rocky” Walshaw said the cleanup would be a slow process as the water took a long time to drain.

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

Emergency services in UKTN have warned that conditions in the city are dangerous due to the fast flowing water through the center and the risk of contaminants such as toxic chemicals and sewage.

In Wagga Wagga, evacuation orders were withdrawn and people were told to return to their homes after the Murrumbidgee River peaked at 9.72 meters on Friday, the highest level in a decade.

The NSW SES answered 105 requests for help in UKTN on Saturday, while receiving nearly 280 requests statewide and conducting 27 rescues.

There were 10 major flood warnings across NSW on Sunday morning, including potential flooding at Narrandera on Tuesday.

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

More than 40 flood warnings remained across the border in Victoria on Sunday morning, as authorities warned people 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.

Major flooding is expected along the Murray River near Echuca and Moama during the week, although water levels are falling.

– MONKEY

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