THE TOWN of Moree needs time and plenty of "elbow grease" to dry out and get people back home after a huge flood submerged houses, roads and bridges.
The swollen Mehi River may have dropped back inside the banks and the town is no longer cut in half, but floodwaters continue to lurk in low-lying areas.
Remote properties in the shire could have essential supplies choppered in for weeks to come, main highways are still cut and the 200 or so people forced to flee rising floodwater are still making their way back home.
State Emergency Service (SES) Superintendent Mitch Parker has been on the ground in Moree, and said rapid damage impact assessment teams were aiming to have all affected homes checked over by Saturday.
The multi-agency teams were checking for damage, risks and whether essential "utilities" like power and sewerage had been affected.
"We're looking for hazards - with floodwater comes mould, mud, debris and even animals like spiders and snakes," he said.
"The community has been fantastic, it's been a very trying time and it really shows the true Australian spirit."
Superintendent Parker told the Leader there were about 200 properties in Moree being assessed, with about 170 people registered as evacuating their homes when the flood hit.
Evacuation orders were issued for parts of Moree on Tuesday night.
The Mehi River at Moree reached levels not seen since devastating floods almost a decade ago, when it peaked at 10.43m on Thursday morning.
When people return home, they will be confronted with exactly what damage the floodwaters have done.
"There is a lot of infrastructure damage, we're talking roads and houses and some commercial premises, bridges have been damaged, and it's going to be long process to identify it and see what needs to be done," Superintendent Parker said.
A statement from the SES said cleaning crews were set to sweep into town to provide "elbow grease" to support exhausted community members.
Some people who remained at remote properties in the Moree area could still be stranded for some time.
Four aircraft based out of Moree will deliver essential supplies to communities and farms that could be cut off from the world for weeks, even as roads reopen and the town itself dries out.
Superintendent Parker said emergency services had to perform about 30 flood rescues during the flood crisis across the New England North West.
He said some were genuine, but some were "extremely frustrating" instances of people making the decision to drive through floodwater and ignore warnings and signs.
"All we ask is that people adhere to instructions and the advice given," he said.
People have been asked to avoid cleaning marks on the outside of their homes for a couple of days so crews can collect flood intelligence.
Interstate and local SES, Rural Fire Service and Fire and Rescue NSW will continue their work in Moree.
Call 132 500 for SES help.
The Bureau of Meteorology confirmed the radar for the Moree area has come back online, after it stopped working during the height of the flood crisis.
Images from the radar are again publicly accessible on the Moree radar page of the bureau's website.
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