Today, The Hills Shire braces for more flooding.
Parts of Lower Portland and Wisemans Ferry have been told to evacuate, and more of our local roads and reserves are being impacted by flash flooding.
The worst is far from over as Warragamba Dam continues to spill and there’s more rain scheduled for the coming days. This means we mustn’t become complacent. River heights are still rising and affecting communities across the low-lying areas and along the Hawkesbury River.
I urge residents to continue to follow the warnings and when told – to evacuate. If you remain in these areas of concern, you could become cut-off from the outside world and may end up in a position where you need to be rescued. Please don’t put yourself in this position.
I want to thank Castle Hill RSL who have opened their arms and embraced those seeking a dry place to stay. Those residents fleeing from the floods can still seek shelter at the RSL, which is the official evacuation centre.
Castle Hill Showground is currently sheltering 44 horses and there’s still room for more animals to be housed there until flood waters recede. I want to thank the RSPCA and the Greater Sydney Local Land Services for their work at the Showground. I went out there on Thursday to see our ‘real life Noah’s Ark’ and I was just blown away by how many residents I saw there offering help and assistance. Our community is a generous and resilient one, and these kind acts just shows that we will once again get through this tough time.
I’ve also received questions about how we can assist those who have been affected by the floods. People wanting to help can donate through GIVIT (www.givit.org.au/whats-needed) and the Red Cross (www.redcross.org.au).
Our Council crews and contractors will continue to work throughout the weekend as they repair potholes, remove fallen trees, and continue to monitor our roads for further damage and flooding. Please report potholes and any other road issues via the “Report it to Council” webpage on The Hills Shire Council website (www.thehills.nsw.gov.au). This will ensure Council crews are onto it.
Can I once again thank our SES, RFS, police, emergency teams and volunteers for everything they’ve been doing throughout this severe weather event. The Hills SES have received more than 105 calls for assistance, completed over 89 jobs and given out 5000 sandbags in the last few days. This is fantastic work by the SES and everyone else, especially since these emergency and rescue teams have been working non-stop over the last two years without too much of a break, and yet they are back out there, helping those in need. If you see these heroes out and about, please thank them for everything they do and continue to do.
Residents needing sandbags can collect them from Cropley House in Baulkham Hills. In addition to this, residents can also collect them from Box Hill, Glenorie and Maroota South RFS Stations. I encourage residents to take a shovel with them just in case they need to fill their bags.
A number of schools remain closed, especially those located in Maroota, Maraylya, Glenorie, Wisemans Ferry and Cattai. For the latest school closures, visit: www.education.nsw.gov.au.
Finally, I encourage residents to please drive to the conditions and do not enter flood waters.
Everyone that has been affected are in our thoughts and we will continue to work hard to support them.
Mayor of The Hills Shire,
Dr Peter Gangemi