Narrabri advised to boil water after floods contaminate supply

Weather warnings: SES called out to 70 jobs as rainfall lashes North West region

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"It was a long time coming."

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SHIPPING OUT: People and pets fleeing the Narrabri flood waters via ute. Photo: Narrabri Fire and Rescue

SHIPPING OUT: People and pets fleeing the Narrabri flood waters via ute. Photo: Narrabri Fire and Rescue

UPDATE: Sunday 2.30pm

NARRABRI Shire Council has issued a boil-water notice for its residents after the town supply was contaminated by flooding.

The Killarney Street bore was breached by the Doctors Creek water and seeped into the town water supply.

The council's staff are flushing the network to try and remove contaminated water.

It is expected to take 48 hours for the water supply to be deemed safe for drinking.

Residents have been advised to boil water before drinking during this time.

The Narrabri council staff have been stretched across the weekend dealing with the floods.

Narrabri Fire and Rescue have also been assisting.

The boil water notice will stay in place until Tuesday, February 11.

EARLIER: Sunday 9.30am

IT WAS a wet and wild weekend across the North West this weekend as the heavens opened over the region.

Parts of the region turned from drought-stricken dustbowl to raging floodplains which wrought havoc on homes and local road and rail networks.

The Armidale to Sydney train service was cancelled and passengers were put on buses after the rail lines were inundated at Werris Creek and Narrabri.

Photos on social media showed flood water lapping at the top of the platform at Narrabri train station.

Rail lines at Werris Creek were almost completely submerged.

Roads north of Tamworth were closed due to flooding.

Traffic was affected in both directions on the Oxley Highway at Bective, between Tamworth and Gunnedah, due to flooding.

It was a similar story at Appelby on the Manilla Road.

There was also flooding on the Gwydir Highway just east of Collarenebri

The Narrabri SES unit had 24 requests for assistance overnight.

The local unit along with Fire and Rescue, Rural Fire Service, Volunteer Rescue Association and the Wee Waa SES team helped with the clean up and door-knocking.

"Who would have thought you could go from drought to flooding in a day," the Narrabri SES unit posted on social media.

The SES' incident controller for the North West Katrina Migel said the service helped with about 70 call-outs in the region, including 30 in the Tamworth region.

She said there was five flood rescues with instances of people driving into flood waters.

Crews also rescued adults, children and animals from a home between Boggabri and Gunnedah which had been inundated with floodwater.

The incident controller said the SES had put on units on standby for the weekend and there was a likelihood of more storms throughout the early part of this week.

"It was a long time coming," she said.

"All crews conducted their tasks safely and long into the night.

"The last crew knocked off around midnight."

There could be flooding on the way in the region on Sunday as well.

"There is potential for thunderstorm activity which could bring heavy downpours sporadically in a wide areas," she said.

The flood incidents the SES faced this weekend posed a different challenge after years of intense drought.

Ms Migel said flooding after drought made "the water flow differently" and crews were faced with a lot more debris than usual.

Moderate flood warnings have been issued along the Macintyre River at Boggabilla and Goondiwindi, whilst minor flooding is likely on the Weir River at Talwood next week.

The Macintyre River at Boggabilla is currently at 0.41 metres and steady. River levels at Boggabilla are likely to exceed the minor flood level (5.00 m) during Sunday.

The Macintyre River at Goondiwindi is currently at 1.31 metres and steady.

River levels at Goondiwindi are likely to exceed the minor flood level (4.00 m) during Sunday and exceed the moderate flood level (6.00 m) during Monday.

This article first appeared in the Northern Daily Leader

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