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Northern New South Wales on floodwatch -

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Northern New South Wales on floodwatch

Tony Eastley reported this story on Monday, November 28, 2011 08:09:00

TONY EASTLEY: From not enough water to too much.

This morning residents of parts of northern New South Wales are waking up to find themselves
surrounded by what looks like to be an inland sea.

After a week of heavy rain, hundreds of rural properties along the Mehi River have been cut off,
and overnight the town of Moree was cut in half by rising flood waters.

The Newell Highway is closed, and the floods are also affecting hundreds of people in the nearby
town of Wee Waa. Emergency supplies are being flown into the affected areas.

Colin Hinds is the manager of the Amaroo Tavern in Moree and he joins us this morning.

Colin, good morning.

COLIN HINDS: Good morning.

TONY EASTLEY: I understand you are the manager of the tavern but you can't get to work?

COLIN HINDS: No, I can't today.

TONY EASTLEY: You haven't got a boat?

COLIN HINDS: No and I don't feel like swimming.

TONY EASTLEY: (Laughs) What's it like around where you are?

COLIN HINDS: The water is starting to go down now. It has dropped about six inches. We've had
probably 24 inches of water surrounding the house at the peak of it last night but it is dropping
this morning. You can see it dropping quite steadily.

TONY EASTLEY: And is it a matter of being able to drive through it in a four-wheel drive or is it
just not passable at the moment?

COLIN HINDS: Oh, on this side of town, yeah, there is four-wheel drives coming up and down the
street. Parts of Moree like further across from me, a couple of streets away, it is still quite
deep.

TONY EASTLEY: So you've got a pub but no publican. Are you likely to be opening today or tomorrow?

COLIN HINDS: Oh yeah, my assistant manager lives on premises. Unfortunately his day off has had to
be given up so he can go to work.

TONY EASTLEY: Now we mentioned that the town had been cut in half. Your beer supplies might be a
problem eventually but what are the rest of the townsfolk doing with the water all around them?

COLIN HINDS: I'm not really sure. I think most people are just out sightseeing and wandering around
having a bit of a look around. It has affected a lot of business, you know, people can't get out.

TONY EASTLEY: And what are you being told about how long before the water goes down?

COLIN HINDS: I haven't been listening to the radio this morning but yesterday we had a pretty good
coverage of what was happening, more so river levels and things like that but they're saying the
main bridge should be open again sometime today so the town won't be cut in half. Hopefully we can
get to the other side of town and see what is going on.

TONY EASTLEY: And what are the people telling you about whether there is any rain, more rain on the
way?

COLIN HINDS: Somebody said yesterday that there's rain again predicted for Wednesday so hopefully
it will stay away for a little while. Let this lot of water get away before we get some more.

TONY EASTLEY: You hope that and no doubt your patrons do too.

COLIN HINDS: Yes, for sure.

TONY EASTLEY: Colin Hinds, the manager of the Amaroo Tavern in Moree.