THE financial loss from the damage and destruction of the Gunnedah floods is estimated to be in the tens of millions, as the community painstakingly waits for floodwaters to recede to assess the full impact.
The Namoi River at Gunnedah broke its banks when it peaked at 8.6 metres on Sunday morning, and has slowly fallen since, although it's sitting well above the town's major flood level of 7.9 metres.
SES spokesperson David Rankine said the Namoi was sitting at 8.3 metres on Monday afternoon, with the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) predicting it will take two to three days to come down to the major level.
"It will be quite a slow receding floodwater," he told the Leader.
"That has a lot to do with the water that's coming out of Keepit Dam at the moment that's putting extra pressure on the river levels in the Namoi. But we're seeing the river progressively come down which is great news for the community."
But, Gunnedah isn't out of the woods yet, with more rain predicted on Wednesday and Thursday.
The town's mayor Jamie Chaffey described the damage and destruction as "widespread" with "devastating inundation of residential properties within the township and damage to primary producers, crops ready to harvest, infrastructure for council and homes right throughout the shire".
"Until the water recedes we won't see the full damage, but what we can see so far is that it will be a long recovery and there's tens of millions of dollars off loss throughout the shire," he said.
"But until all of the water recedes and we can get a full assessment of council infrastructure including our roads, sporting fields, parks, bridges and causeways, we won't know at council level what that looks like.
"And of course the loss to our agricultural community and to residents who have been affected by water inundation, that is going to be very significant."
While floodwaters are slowly receding in Gunnedah, they are rising downstream at Narrabri.
Mr Rankin said the community has been very fortunate in the past 24 hours with the number of flood rescues remaining low and efforts focused on community resupply.
"Particularly for people who are cut off on the other side of the Namoi River from Gunnedah," he said.
"We have a helicopter on hand that has been doing resupply runs and also volunteers on flood boats doing more localised resupplies.
"When the water gets to a safe and sustainable level that we can conduct damage assessment, we'll be working very closely with those people affected in the community to undertake rapid damage assessment and work through the process of assisting them getting back on their feet."
Supply drop offs can be organised by calling 132 500, or 000 if the situation is life threatening.
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