Hoax message creates concern

Forbes Shire Council are warning residents to only take flood information from a trusted source.

On Thursday afternoon Manager of Communication and Development for Forbes Shire Council Kristy Hartwig released a flood update, with a note to beware of hoax emails and SMS messages.

“We are aware of a hoax SMS that was circulating regarding residents being affected in Bathurst Street,” Ms Hartwig said.

“Apparently council was going to blow a levee bank,” she said.

The hoax message indicated by blowing the levee bank, the street would be flooded.

Ms Hartwig said council first became aware of the message when worried residents started ringing up wanting to know when the public meeting was.

“What we want to impress upon people is one, that it was a hoax, and two, that we have got a number of communication avenues.

“We’ve got our media releases and anyone can join that distribution list, we’ve got the website, we’ve got the SMS alert, we’ve got Facebook ‘finditinforbes’ and we’ve got a Twitter account.

“[For] those people that are not using modern updates, we are posting updates on the front door of our office,” Ms Hartwig said.

During the critical stage of the flood Forbes Shire Council was posting information up on boards at both IGA supermarkets, Woolworths, Discount Daves and both Nocks Newsagency and News On Rankin.

Radio stations were picking up the media releases and making intermittent bulletins.

“We were also making sure the visitor information centre had up-to-date information,” Ms Hartwig said.

Ms Hartwig said hoax messages like the one distributed on Thursday create unnecessary angst and anxiety in the community.

If anyone would like to be added to the council’s flood information distribution list, contact the office during

business hours on 6850 2300 or after hours on 0412 523 344.

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