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Forbes prepares for flood peak -

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Forbes Mayor Phyllis Miller joins Lateline to discuss the spread of flooding in the New South Wales
central west.

Transcript

TONY JONES, PRESENTER: With the latest on the floods in the south, central west of NSW we're joined
now by the Mayor of Forbes, Phyllis Miller.

Thanks for being there, Phyllis, and obviously floodwaters behind you.

PHYLLIS MILLER, MAYOR OF FORBES: Yes, Tony, this is our car park that services our CBD and it's
underwater.

TONY JONES: So how much floodwater is actually in the CBD in the town itself at the moment?

PHYLLIS MILLER: A considerable amount, Tony. We're totally surrounded in the CBD by water. This
water behind me closes off all of our shops within the CBD except a couple down one end that we are
able to keep open.

TONY JONES: This has been effectively a slow flood for you so you've had plenty of volunteers out
and the town has had time to prepare. What have you been doing?

PHYLLIS MILLER: Yeah, Tony, we're pretty lucky in Forbes. We have about a five-day window when
Wyangala it starts to let water out and we know we're going to get a flood. So we've been
evacuating people who are on that flood fringe with a predicted height of 10.65. Anyone that was
vulnerable at that height we have made sure that they're either evacuated or they've taken - done
the right thing not to let their houses go underwater, they've sandbagged. We've got all our
community services helping people out within the flood-affected areas. I think we're pretty
well-prepared.

TONY JONES: Let me ask you this, Phyllis: what about the people in the homesteads a little further
out of town who've been caught by the floodwaters?

PHYLLIS MILLER: That's a real concern, Tony. Anyone that has lived in the district for many years
is prepared when there's a flood, but we have a lot of new property owners downstream towards
Bedgerebong. There's a lot of stranded homesteads down there and certainly in the next few days the
SES will be doing food drops out to those people.

TONY JONES: Now it's the Lachlan River we're talking about here; when do you expect it to peak?

PHYLLIS MILLER: We're hoping tomorrow evening it will peak and the big job after that is the
recovery.

TONY JONES: Do you have any idea how big the peak will be though, because it seems to be a bit of a
mystery for many towns?

PHYLLIS MILLER: I think the Bureau does estimate a little bit above the height. We're - we've got a
height of 10.65. I'm hoping that it doesn't reach that because that's major flood levels. It is
major now as we sit, but hopefully it's a bit lower than that and we start to recover come
Saturday, we start to look forward.

TONY JONES: Final question: how worried are you about the people downstream?

PHYLLIS MILLER: Very worried, Tony. The rural community has suffered a lot not only with drought,
but this is our second flood. We had one in 2010 and the farming community were the worst affected
then and of course now we have another flood going through their properties, so, it's going to be
pretty tough on them in the coming months.

TONY JONES: Phyllis Miller, we thank you for being out there in front of the flooded CBD tonight.
Thank you very much for being there. Hopefully things will settle down tomorrow for you.

PHYLLIS MILLER: Thank you, Tony.