AT LEAST 120 homes have been deemed unsafe for residents to return after flooding, while hundreds more were flooded across the North West.
The Leader can reveal the damage tally after the State Emergency Service (SES) completed 1221 rapid damage assessments across the North West in towns like Moree, Narrabri, Gunnedah and Carroll.
In the figures to Wednesday afternoon, 355 properties had water over the floor, at varying heights.
Acting Namoi Region SES Controller Andrew Galvin told the Leader he expected the damage assessments would be completed by Thursday night, with the numbers expected to rise as the water recedes.
"We have done some in Narrabri but we can't do anymore there with the water that is still there," he said.
"There is about 15 properties in Narrabri that are residential and commercial properties that have overfloor flooding.
"There has been an incredible number done in Moree."
He said Carroll was completed on Tuesday, with Gunnedah to finish on Wednesday, but Narrabri and Moree will take more time.
"The rapid damage assessments on properties is being carried out and we're working to get people home safely and get those all clears done," Mr Galvin said.
Mr Galvin said the infrastructure damage was mounting, and Essential Energy has been assessing from the air the poles and wires that have fallen down.
"There has been impacts on sewerage treatment in both Narrabri and Moree, those councils have suffered damage to water and wastewater infrastructure which they're managing," Mr Galvin said.
"There is quite significant damage to road infrastructure that Transport for NSW and council is assessing."
FOOD DROPS BEGIN
Mr Galvin said the focus is also on getting food and emergency supplies to residents that are isolated across the North West. He said the "magnitude of requests" meant there was a backlog.
"We have got significant numbers of resupply requests, we're working flat out because we have had some challenges in that space but we are getting on top of it," he said.
Moree Shire mayor Mark Johnson said council had taken it upon itself to do the first food drop to Yarraman on Wednesday using a front end loader and food donated from Woolworths.
"Yarraman has been a hot spot," he said.
"I know the frustration around isolated people getting food."
Mr Johnson said they had to work through layers of bureacracies, and that's why council went it alone with the front end loader, but now they had made head way with the SES.
"They're going to set up an air base in Moree with six helicopters, four for resupply and two for emergency services," he said.
"So this whole food issue will be far more coordinated."
The SES said the peak of the Namoi River is now at Wee Waa, which will be cut off for weeks. It was steady at 7.60m at Glencoe with major flooding on Wednesday afternoon.
"The township will certainly be, there is a lot of water around Wee Waa, I would expect it could be weeks," Mr Galvin said.
"The volume of water that is around, there is up to one-and-a-half metres across the lagoon."
The volume of water has meant the Unimog high-clearance vehicle can't be used, and SES boats and choppers were the only way in and out of town.
Narrabri peaked at 7.64m on Tuesday after the Narrabri Creek broke its banks and flooded parts of the town.
The river is expected to remain above the 6.70m major flood threshold in the town until Friday.
For Moree, the Mehi River was continuing to fall towards the moderate flood level on Wednesday.
Major flooding was still impacting Yarraman, which was isolated by the Gwydir River, while minor flooding was continuing at Pallamallawa and Gravesend.
Some areas that have been evacuated have been cleared to return home in Narrabri, and more areas in Moree were given the all clear on Wednesday, as well as Gunnedah.
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