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River still rising

Thursday, 27th January, 2011

Block 10 at Menindee last weekend Block 10 at Menindee last weekend

Property owners at Menindee are getting help from their new local State Emergency Service but if the flooding gets worse help would be sent from Broken Hill, according to the Far West SES.

The Menindee SES has only recently formed but they have been doing a good job, said the SES operations manager for the Far West, Mark Coulter,

Concern had been raised by a Central Darling Shire councillor, Ron Page, who said many of the older property owners did not know who to call for help.

Mr Page owns a property by Little Menindee Creek and he said the water level has been rising for weeks.

"Some of the older property owners don't really like to ask for help but they are worried about who to call," he said.

Barry Philp from State Water was doing a "marvellous job" at keeping the locals informed about the level of the river and the speed of the flow, Mr Page said.

He said the rising water had already forced him to move his flock of alpacas and he and was having to hand-feed his sheep and poultry.

"A few days ago we had to walk the outbackers kilometres out to higher ground in the town.

"We are hand-feeding the rest of the stock.

"We've been sandbagging for a few days now and we'll just have to wait and see how high it gets. 

"The water will come up to the house but we're hoping that the sandbags will keep it out.

"All the fruit trees are already drowned.

"The water's been rising for quite a few weeks and with all that water heading down the river it looks like we're in for a long, wet summer.

Mr Coulter advised anyone in need of help in a crisis to phone 132 500, a 24/7 communications centre in Woolongong which would then contact the SES in Menindee.

The Menindee SES has eight members who were helping out now in and around the town and had undergone training in such fields as first aid, Mr Coulter said.

"They are a bit green but they have great general knowledge," he said.

"They're helping out. There's been thousands of sandbags laid around the town."

Mr Coulter said Menindee was so far not under threat, so back up for the local SES wasn't needed.

"If they need back up they would get it from Broken Hill."

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