Parkes SES praises community for reslience

A number of Parkes businesses in Clarinda Street had to use sandbags to protect their premises when the main street flooded during the heavy downpours on Saturday.
A number of Parkes businesses in Clarinda Street had to use sandbags to protect their premises when the main street flooded during the heavy downpours on Saturday.

The Parkes community again showed its resilience when heavy rain caused flooding in areas of the town last Friday and Saturday.

“We’ve no complaints about the community, they were just fantastic,” Parkes State Emergency Services (SES) Controller Phil Snow said reflecting on the 68 calls for assistance logged last weekend.

Instead of dry, hot weather we’re used to seeing to kickstart the summer season, Parkes residents experienced heavy downpours and flash flooding.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) recorded 98.2mm of rain between 6pm Friday and 8am Sunday – almost twice the monthly rainfall average for December (53.3mm).

As the downpour came, so too did the flash flooding – with Clarinda Street, the Newell Highway on both sides of the rail line, the Newell Highway at Tichborne, and the rail line in East Street all experiencing flooding.

The SES was also called to attend a road accident on the Newell Highway at Tichborne.

Members of the Rural Fire Service assisted 12 Parkes SES volunteers during the emergency period which saw the SES attend to sandbagging, water diversions and tarping of leaking roofs.

“We really appreciate their assistance at times like last Friday and Saturday,” Mr Snow said of the help provided by the Rural Fire Service.

The SES filled 600 sandbags with work starting on Thursday after a warning from the Bureau of Meteorology to expect flash flooding.

“We were well prepared, Mr Snow said advising Parkes residents to prepare themselves for the storm season and call 132 500 if they require assistance during a storm.

Residents are reminded to only call the number for emergency help in a storm or flood.

If the situation is life-threatening, such as a flood rescue, they should call Triple Zero (000).

Residents are reminded to never enter or travel through floodwater, stay indoors and clear of windows during storms.