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UPDATE: Stuarts Point Evacuation Order remains in place

Saturday, 27 March 2021 05:20:56 PM

Operations are ongoing to ensure public safety and support the welfare of residents evacuated from homes at Stuarts Point last night.

The Local Emergency Operations Controller (LEOCON) issued an evacuation order at 9.30pm (Friday 26 March 2021), after NSW Heath confirmed a risk of faecal matter and bacteria in the discharge from onsite septic systems impacted by floodwaters.

While many residents were able to find private accommodation, about 30 people spent the evening at the Yarrahapinni evacuation centre.

Local police and the NSW State Emergency Service (SES) have cordoned off affected streets and identified danger areas at nearby crossroads, and there is no general access.

To reduce the possibility of contamination spread, residents from other parts of the township, who have not been evacuated, are advised they should only drive for essential purposes.

Vehicles can leave the area via Ocean Avenue but may require decontamination if they have driven through or come into contact with the groundwater.

Emergency services are working on a case-by-case basis to retrieve essential medications and items that are required from those homes affected by the evacuation order, which is part of the Emergency Management of the Kempsey flooding that has been active since last Thursday (18 March 2021).

As water in the township recedes outside of the sewer-impacted footprint, inspections are being carried out and lime treatment applied as a protective measure.

Kempsey Shire Council and the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) are working with NSW Health to conduct further tests of the groundwater and reviewing options to mechanically speed up the natural drainage in the area.

Regular updates will be provided to residents of the township, but are advised the evacuation order is anticipated to remain in place for seven and ten days.

Any residents requiring urgent assistance or specialist care are advised to contact SES on 132 500.

In life threatening situations, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.