Heavy rainfall and rapidly rising creek levels have flooded houses in the Narrabri Shire, with some Gwabegar residents being forced to evacuate their homes.

Tammy Howe and her family are currently seeking shelter at the town’s community hall after water inundated their home on Chauvel Street, at about 7 am on Monday.

“I was petrified, but I was more worried about the kids and the animals,” said Tammy.

“They had about 236 millimetres in Kenebri (between Gwabegar and Baradine) in 24 hours, that’s what caused the Baradine Creek to rise rapidly on Monday morning.

“And when it busted the banks, there was no stopping it.

“It came up that fast, like the 1971 flood did.

“We’re a few kilometres from the creek, the banks busted between the railway bridge and the road bridge.

“And then it came down through a paddock, and as soon as it started coming down through the paddock – there was no stopping it.”

Tammy was at home with her partner, son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren who are aged eight and three.

“They were absolutely petrified because we had to wake them up,” she said.

“We moved to the other end of the street, to higher ground.”

Tammy said her family had been “up and down” on Sunday night checking the level of the creek.

“At 3.30am it was steady, but a few hours later it was at my back door and by 7am this morning (Monday) it was three-feet deep.”

Tammy said she’s pleased they’re safe but still in “shock” and worried about the future.

“We’re wondering what we’re going to have to do next – load up trailers and throw everything out, there’s water everywhere and we don’t have insurance.”

Tammy said about 10 houses in the town had been impacted, locals were rallying to help and the SES was hopefully arriving with more blankets and supplies.

“A lot of friends have helped, which is great.

“The problem is, we’re expecting more rain this week.”

Member for Barwon Roy Butler said he was contacted to assist the community.

“Gwabegar and Baradine have experienced torrential rain and serious flooding overnight, one fall of 225 millimetres was recorded,” said Mr Butler in a statement posted to social media.

“I was asked to raise the need for urgent help, which I did through the SES Commissioner.

“The local SES and police have responded to residents calls for help and swung into action. “There are at least ten homes in Gwabegar with water over the floor, people are staying with friends and the community hall is being used as a temporary shelter.

“There is an assessment team travelling from Gilgandra and there will be an emergency LEMC meeting in Narrabri this afternoon.

“Call the SES if you need assistance 132500 and the SES will check the return of power to homes that are impacted to ensure safety.”


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