Public safety operations in the Stuarts Point area on the Mid North Coast are ongoing to ensure the safety and welfare support for those residents impacted.
The Local Emergency Operations Controller (LEOCON) issued an evacuation order at 9.30pm on 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.
The LEOCON declared the zone a danger area and issued an evacuation order under Section 60L of the State Emergency and Rescue Management Act.
Surrounding streets are now dry, Fire and Rescue NSW crews have today prioritised disinfecting roads that were contaminated and all roads have now been opened. The exclusion zone remains around individual properties which have been marked with tape.
Currently, ground water continues to be pumped from the affected area. The priority for the Emergency Operations Centre and the LEOCON is to get people back into their homes, however each property needs to be assessed in terms of a number of criteria.
All agencies are working together to best determine what will be required to revoke the evacuation orders for individual properties. This assessment includes:
- Has there been water on the site?
- Has the home been inundated?
- Is the home structurally sound?
- Are the septic systems for the home operational?
Crews from the relevant agencies, including Fire and Rescue NSW and Kempsey Shire Council, are assessing each property using the above criteria, to develop a remediation plan for each home.
All property owners are being communicated with and supported by the Department of Communities and Justice (WELFAC) while this process remains ongoing.
Community Information Sessions – coordinated by the SES – will be conducted tomorrow (Wednesday 31 March 2021) in Stuarts Point and surrounding areas where evacuated residents are being housed.
These sessions will outline further details around the steps being taken to return people to their homes, the continued issues with significant ground water and the health advice for managing flood impacts. Times and locations are yet to be determined.
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.