Empty homes as flood waters rise

Forbes in flood 2012

An evacuation order for 235 properties remains in place this morning in Forbes and the State Emergency Service (SES) believes the majority of people have already left their homes.


The stage two evacuation order issued yesterday asked affected residents to leave their properties before 8pm and report to an evacuation centre to be registered.

SES Community Engagement Officer Megan Hill said she hoped that affected residents were no longer at home.

“We do have information on who has chosen to stay in their homes. We ask when we do the doorknocking process,” she said.

“There were 226 home doorknocked yesterday, and we have indications that the majority of those people had already evacuated.”

The SES are urgently seeking assistance with sandbagging and are asking volunteers to report to the SES headquarters in Forbes on the corner of School Road and Farnell Street.

“We are packing thousands and thousands of sandbags,” Ms Hill said.

“Yesterday we had teams of around 20 people sandbagging. It was fabulous. There were kids as young as 12, and entire families were coming down to help.”

“People are able to pick up sandbags from our Forbes centre.”

The Bureau of Meteorology is still predicting the Lachlan River will peak near 10.65 metres late Thursday with major flooding at the Forbes Iron Bridge.

“At Forbes, river levels are rising slowly and have exceeded 10.5 metres this morning,” the bureau said in a statement.

“The Lachlan River at Nanami peaked at 11.54 metres around 4am Wednesday morning.”

Two evacuations centres remain open in Forbes: Forbes High School on Wyndham Avenue and the Jemalong Regional Education Centre on Church Street opposite the high school.

If you have photos of the floods don’t forget to send them through and we’ll put together a readers’ photo gallery. Simply email them to [email protected]苏州美甲培训学校.au

Lachlan R at Forbes Iron Bridge – Bureau of Meteorology

Latest river levels

■ Iron Bridge – 10.53m at 2pm

■ Nanami – 11.48m 1pm at 1pm

■ Mulyandry 11.47m at 1pm

■ Cottons – 6.97m at 1pm

■ Jemalong Weir 7.74m at 8.40am

Wyangala Dam

■ Dropped to 101.6% this morning.

■ In the 24 hours up until 9am yesterday 19,209 megalitres of water entered the storage with State water releasing 30,039 megalitres.

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Born in the Lockhart Shire

Lockhart Shire Councillors, at their March meeting, discussed the possibility of developing a “Hall of Fame” concept with past and present residents being acknowledged as suggested by the Lockhart Shire Tourism and Economic Development Steering Committee.

Since settlement, the Lockhart Shire has been the birthplace of many prominent citizens, examples are:

Don Kendell, (started Kendell Airlines-no REX) born (19 January 1930 – 14 October 2001) and raised in Lockhart Shire was the founder and Chairman of Kendell Airlines, now a part of Regional Express Airlines. In 1992, Don Kendell was made a member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his services to aviation.

Donald Hazelwood Concertmaster Emeritus, Sydney Symphony Orchestra was raised in Urangeline. He was a violinist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra for 45 years, and has enjoyed a long and successful career at the forefront of Australian classical music.

For his services to music he has received numerous awards. He was given an OBE in 1976 and was made an officer of the Order of Australia in 1988.

Norm Provan, “Sticks” (born 1932), was raised in Bidgeemia (Lockhart Shire) and is an Australian former rugby league footballer and coach. Named amongst the nation’s finest footballers of the 20th century, he was a representative in the Australian national team from 1954 to 1960 earning 14 Test and 2 World Cup caps.

John Herbert (Jack) Crawford was born in 1098, raised in Urangeline (Lockhart Shire) and won the Australian Open four times – from 1931-33 and in 1935.

He made his debut at the Australian Championships in 1927, losing an epic first round against Gar Moon. In 1933, Crawford won his third Australian title, beating American Keith Gledhill in the final.

Reg Gleeson was born in 1950. He is the former star Swans half-back and had previously played with Osborne before he was recruited from Lockhart.

More recently the list of prominent citizens from the Lockhart Shire includes Adam Schneider and Jackson Strong.

As all areas of the Shire have produced prominent citizens a central ‘Hall of Fame’ could be developed in Lockhart and all other towns and districts of the Shire displaying a duplication of the personalities for their respective areas.

At their April meeting the Tourism and Economic Development Steering Committee will discuss this matter further – the “Hall of Fame” project will not only give recognition to the achievements of the above mentioned individuals but also offer inspiration to current and future generations.

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Volunteers arrive in Forbes to help

Ann Tasker and Michael Byrnes came from Parkes and Raelyn Hitchick came from Bogan Gate to assist with the emergency accommodation effort in Forbes.

People affected by floods will have places to stay thanks to the efforts of Forbes Shire Council and several other organisations, including many volunteers.

Manager Communication and Development at Forbes Shire Council Kristy Hartwig said the Forbes High School Hall and Jemalong Regional Education Centre (formerly JRV) will serve as temporary emergency accommodation.

“People who have been issued with an evacuation order can present themselves at either of those places,” Ms Hartwig said.

Lending their support to people affected by the flood in Forbes are several organisations and volunteers from other towns.

Ann Tasker from Parkes and Raelyn Hitchick from Bogan Gate have travelled here to give their assistance to our community.

“I’ve been with the church for over 40 years,” Ms Tasker said.

Although a long-serving volunteer in many organisations this is Ms Tasker’s first year providing emergency services with the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), one of several volunteer groups helping with the flood effort.

Ms Tasker and Hitchick hope they can help anyone in need.

Also here to help is Michael Byrnes from Parkes, a member of the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS).

“The people of Forbes are pretty resilient,” Mr Byrnes said.

“A lot of them are organised but if they aren’t then we can help.”

Mr Byrnes believes people often wait until they see the water before they go, but he said the best time to be prepared is now.

Anyone who has questions or concerns regarding the coming flood can go to Forbes Shire Council’s help desk at the town hall, or visit their website.

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235 Forbes properties told to evacuate



Video by Stacey Miller

The State Emergency Service (SES) has issued an evacuation order this morning for over 235 properties in the Forbes Shire.

The evacuation order follows a prediction from the Bureau of Meteorology that rising flood waters in the Lachlan River will exceed the major flood level of 10.4 metres before midday.

The river is expected to peak near 10.65 metres during Thursday.

SES spokesperson Alex Chesser said the order was put in place at 8.30am and affected residents are being asked to evacuate in the next 12 hours.

“That is for a number of reasons, obviously for rising flood waters but also it is a lot harder to move around in the dark,” he said.

“We are advising people to leave as soon as possible … the situation can change quickly.”

Emergency personnel will be out in affected areas this morning door-knocking to provide further information to residents.

“The SES here are on top of what they expect to occur,” said Mr Chesser.

“It is just facilitating that work on the ground. There is potential for further rises, but at this stage we are just concentrating on the relocation of people in the affected area.”

Two evacuations centres have been set up in Forbes. The first at the Community Services Building on Elgin Street and the second at Forbes or Forbes High School on Wyndham Avenue.

Affected residents are asked to visit one of the centres to register before going to stay with friends and family. Community Services will be on hand to help organise accommodation for those who need assistance. RSPCA will temporarily house pets during the evacuation period.

Areas that have been asked to evacuate include:

South West Forbes (Lake Forbes to Newell Hwy)

■ Elizabeth St, Farnell St, Hilda St, Show St, Forester St, Marcia St, Racecourse Rd,

Thelma St, Mona Pl, Margret St, Junction St and Lachlan St

North Forbes and the CBD

■ Battye St, Bedgerebong Rd, Browne St, Camp St, Clear St, Cross St, Farnell St,

Farrand St, Grenfell St, Johnson St, North Circle Dr, Dowling St, Parkes Rd, Rankin

St, Renfree St, Sam Street, Sherriff St, Spring St and Templar St.

Eastern residential area

■ Bandon St, Barwin St, Bridge St, Church St, Clark St, Ferry St, Flint St, Herbert St,

Hill St, James St, Ooma St, Orange Rd, Oxford St, Rifle Range Rd, Sandhills Rd,

Twogood Ln and Young St

South Forbes

■ Bathurst St, Blackwood St, Cargo Ln, Church St, Claret St, College Rd, Forbes –

Cowra Rd, Mole Ln, Moselle St, Muscat St, Reymond St, River Rd, Stacey St,

Wambat St, Koala Pl, and Wandary Ln

■ Apex Caravan Park

Before leaving home people should:

■ Turn off the electricity and gas at the main switch or at the gas bottle

■ Turn off all electrical items and store securely

■ Put belongings up high on tables, beds and benches

■ Store light weight items in roof space

■ Take pets with you when you leave

■ Take clothes & bedding, medicines, personal & financial documents, mementos and photos

■ Check with neighbours to see if they need help

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Lockhart’s St Mary’s Debutante Ball was held last Friday, March 30 with fifteen girls making their debut together with their partners.

While some traditions have faded, or even disappeared over the years, the Lockhart Debutante Ball is still going strong.

Dance teacher for the Ball, Mrs Fran Day said “This was a once in a lifetime

experience for the debutantes that was unforgettable.

“Seeing all the beautiful young women in their stunning dresses with their good-looking partners and shining smiles on

everyone’s face, made friends and family and especially their parents extremely proud.”

This year, St Mary’s had the Most Reverend Gerard Hanna, Bishop of Wagga Wagga, to officially receive the debutantes and their partners.

Mrs Day said “The committee would like to take this opportunity to thank Bishop Hanna most sincerely for undertaking this important duty. Special gratitude must also go to Father Darren Howie, Parish Priest St Mary’s as well as Jason Gooden, Chairperson St Mary’s Parish and his wife Liza”.

The tuition and choreography of dance teacher Mrs Day had the debutantes and their partners captivating the audience not only with their presentation dances of the Waltz and the Cha Cha, but also with a spectacular floor show performance ‘Shout’. The Floor Show has been a feature of St Mary’s debutante balls.

The event was compered by Trent Gooden and coordinated by St Mary’s committee – Mrs Lyn Hamson, Mrs Chris Nimmo, Mrs Marg Firman and Mrs Chris Doig. The Ball’s Master of Ceremonies was Mrs Sally Carn and Mr Trent Gooden compered the evening.

Mrs Day added “The debutantes and their partners must be congratulated on the dignified manner in which they presented themselves.”

Back Row left to right: Lachlan Lane, Tyler Krebser, Dale Palmer, Thomas Bennett, Nick Parks, Charlie Bender, Tenille Healy, Alana Parks, Amanda Schneider, Abbey Golder, Teagan Hannon, Annabel Bender, Melanie Guttler, Nicki Guttler, Chloe Sheather, Jana Shilo, Mikala Shilo, Zac Atkins, Jesse Shilo, Joshua O’Connell, Jake Chandler, Robert Farrall and Simon Hounsell. Middle Row left to right: Mitchell Carter, Will Lane, Grace Alexander, Alice Lenehan, Jason Gooden (Chairperson St Mary’s Parish Lockhart) Liza Gooden, Father Darren Howie (Parish Priest St Mary’s Lockhart), Most Reverend Gerard Hanna (Bishop of Wagga Wagga), Fran Day (Dance Teacher), Bridget McDonnell, Anna Rose Colburn and Dougal Howard.

Front Row: Page Boy Matthew Lenehan and Flower Girl Maggie Lane Photo: Felicity Melton

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