A FAMILY in Moree is living out of a caravan, unable to touch or clean anything inside their waterlogged home as insurance companies fail a "heartbroken" community, according to the town's mayor.
Moree Shire Council mayor Katrina Humphries has hit out at big companies, slamming inaction and delays as "not good enough" and urging them to show "care and consideration" during a traumatic time.
She told the Leader she knew of Moree locals that had been told not to touch anything flood-affected until homes could be assessed, but that inspectors could still be days away.
"I cannot imagine the stench and filth and the health implications of a house sitting there for another 10 or so days ... it's just unfair," Ms Humphries said.
"We have people here volunteering their time and sharing the love and sharing the workload and they just want to help, but the insurance companies are not looking after the people that pay them."
In parts of Moree where floodwaters swirled around homes, Ms Humphries said there had been 198 houses affected; 94 with water inundation; and nine deemed uninhabitable.
A multi-agency clean-up effort is in full swing, but just how much damage has been done is yet to be determined, with floodwater still pooled in some parts of town.
"I do not put a timeline on these things," Ms Humphries said. "There is just so much that is still unknown."
Despite her frustrations with insurance companies, Ms Humphries said the community was holding strong and rallying together to get through the crisis.
Here are some photos we took that show the flooding near Moree— NSW SES (@NSWSES) March 27, 2021
Remember, if you need flood &/or storm assistance, call us on 132 500. For life-threatening emergencies, call 000 immediately
For the latest Flood Bulletins & info, visit https://t.co/t578A4uJoApic.twitter.com/nZLl19pdzL
"The community has been absolutely amazing, but they always are," she said.
"This has all come on after three years of the worst drought we have ever seen and people are just starting to get back on their feet ... this is extremely tough."
She said jobs like helping farmers rebuild fences after debris and gushing water wreaked havoc would need to be done.
Ms Humphries waved farewell to the first wave of emergency workers on Sunday morning, but welcomed a new crowd of volunteers later that day.
Although Moree is moving into recovery mode, Ms Humphries said she held grave fears for where all the floodwater was now headed.
"We're very concerned that as that water heads west, we are terribly, terribly worried about Mungindi," she said.
"We've had some cruel twists of fate."
Moree Shire Council and emergency services have been working to stock up the community and chopper in supplies in case of flooding.
"Still half of our shire, at least ... is in disaster mode with floodwater bearing down," she said.
The State Emergency Service (SES) has warned major flooding in the Barwon River could hit Mungindi in early April, and urged locals to "prepare for isolation".
It said the Barwon River at Mungindi is likely to hit major flood level in early April.
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