EXTRA police are being sent to Emerald today to prevent looting as water levels start to fall in the flood devastated town.
Central Highlands Regional Council mayor Peter Maguire said additional police resources would arrive today and Monday as officers
continued to provide 24 hour water patrols.
"Prevention of looting remains their highest priority,’’ Cr Maguire, Chair of the Central Highlands Local Disaster Management Group, said in a media release.
The Nogoa River at Emerald peaked at 16.05 metres during Friday and at 10.23am today was 15.6 metres and falling slowly.
This level is still about 1.2 metres over the approaches to the Vince Lester Bridge which will be closed for several days before it can be repaired.
Cr Maguire said even though water on the highway north of Emerald was receding, significant damage had been caused to the culvert under the highway.
"Under no circumstances is anyone to try to cross this channel,’’ he said.
"Main Roads will assess and repair the road as soon as practicable. Traffic controls will be in place on both sides of the water course.’’
He said treated water supplies remain good in Emerald and Blackwater and urged residents to avoid walking through flood waters.
• Water in Emerald has now peaked and is starting to drop slowly.
• The peak water flow is moving east towards Blackwater, and is expected
to reach the Bedford Weir later today.
• There is NO further large inflow expected into the dam at this time.
• Ergon Energy gave a briefing about the process they will use to inspect
and restore power to houses. This information will be available at
evacuation centres, from Council and on the website. They are having
additional staff brought in from across the state to assist.
• The Recovery Group has been established and will operate initially from
the Emerald Art Gallery. They are currently focusing on arranging waste
collection, providing information about re entering houses and clean up
and will be coordinating cleaning resources including volunteer work
• The Habitat will remain in Emerald at the airport until a clearer
assessment of demand and appropriate location is made. (The habitat
provides emergency accommodation for 150 people.)
• Red Cross reported that 428 people stayed at evacuation centres last
• The Vince Lester Bridge remains closed. Main Roads personnel
anticipate being able to begin assessments and repairs early next. It will
be still some days until the bridge is reopen to traffic.
• Even though water at the LN1 on the highway north of Emerald is
receding, significant damage has been caused to the culvert under the
highway. Under no circumstances is anyone to try to cross this
channel. Main Roads will assess and repair the road as soon as
practicable. Traffic controls will be in place on both sides of the water
• Temporary Hospital Clinics remain open at the Ag College and in Anakie
St at Belman House. These will remain open until all vehicle access to the
hospital is available.
• Water sampling will commence next week. Council will be seeking
additional resources to assist with public health management issues.
• Treated water supplies remain good in Emerald and Blackwater.
• Residents should avoid walking through flood waters.
• When cleaning houses that have been inundated, it is important for
residents to separate food and domestic waste from "clean" waste (eg
carpets, damaged furniture, white goods etc. Further information about
waste collections will be provided as soon as arrangements are
• Additional police resources will be arriving today and Monday. Police
continue to provide 24 hour water patrols. Prevention of looting remains
their highest priority.
• Monday will see the arrival of 44 SES volunteers from NSW and Victoria,
to assist with the recovery process.
• The 80 pallets of cleaning products should be in Emerald tomorrow. They
will be distributed through the Recovery Group and be available on both
sides of the river.
The Local Disaster Management Group will meet again at 9.00 am tomorrow
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