AN ARMY of emergency service workers are helping to get Moree locals back in their homes as major flooding slowly recedes in the town.
Close to 4000 people were ordered to evacuate from their homes in the town after last week's deluge, as water inundated properties. Several homeowners are returning to their homes for the first time on Tuesday after the water receded.
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall said Moree was abuzz with emergency services, but it had created an unusual problem.
"We have found another problem today in that we're running low on fuel," Mr Marshall said.
"With all the emergency service vehicles that are busy in town, and all the planes going around from the airport, the fuel supplies in town have dropped.
"So today they're organising some big trucks, so they're going to come in today to help refuel."
More than 100km of floodwaters have surrounded the town and caused significant damage.
Close to 150 State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers, Rural Fire Service volunteers, Fire and Rescue NSW teams, as well as other personnel are on the ground in the town. A tent city has been built to house the crews at Boughton Oval for the huge clean up that's to come.
The Mehi River dropped from more than 10m overnight to 9.76 on Tuesday morning, after earlier peaking on Sunday morning.
"That's a significant drop," Mr Marshall said.
"There is still a lot of water behind it.
"At least at that level most of the town water has receded, and now that water shifts the problem to the smaller communities like Ashley and Garah as it moves downstream."
Damage assessments are under way by the SES and Fire and Rescue NSW to help get locals back into their homes.
Hundreds have registered for help with the evacuation centre, and dozens have slept in the centre during the flood crisis.
More emergency service workers have arrived in Moree including some from across the state and as far as Western Australia.
"The scene on the ground in Moree today is moving firmly into clean up operations," Mr Marshall said.
"We've got RFS crews, council crews, and Trans4m rail workers, they're all out in the streets, hosing down foot[paths, cleaning up that public infrastructure, and helping people clean up their homes if they want some help.
"The SES and Fire and Rescue NSW are busy doing damage assessments on homes that have been impacted."
The damage assessments must be carried out before people can return home, and help form part of the disaster declarations for the shire.
The bridge in the middle of Moree that was cut and split the town in two has reopened on Tuesday, so too Woolworths and Coles Supermarkets and two local bakeries, meaning locals had access to more food.
"People can now access those to get groceries because it has been a few days," Mr Marshall said.
Mr Marshall said many locals had remarked to him that this flood was different to many others.
"There is a still stack of water, and much more water than we've ever seen around the district," he said.
He said the Washpool to the east of Moree, as well as the Newell to the north of Moree, and the highway to the west all had water still over the roads preventing crews from accessing them to assess the damage.
He said it could be some days before the water recedes and they can be checked.
The only road open into town is the Newell Highway from Narrabri.
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