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Emergency evacuation centre established at Cessnock

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With the LGA being declared a Natural Disaster zone this evening, an emergency evacuation centre has also been set up in Cessnock.

There are numerous reports of flooding in houses in low-lying areas of the community, while local NSW SES units have told residents in Wollombi, Congewai, Paynes Crossing, Laguna, Buckety, Ellalong and Millfield to move to higher ground.

If anyone requires accommodation, due to the horrendous weather conditions, head to the Cessnock Leagues Club, 1 Darwin Street.

Cessnock City mayor Jay Suvaal said it was hard to comprehend the devastation.

“Some of the photos from this area have been truly heartbreaking,” he stated.

“This is the second time this year that those communities have been isolated due to flooding.

“There are a significant number of roads closed across the LGA.

“Cessnock City Council is regularly updating its Facebook page and website to list all the closures.

“For the latest news, go to www.cessnock.nsw.gov.au/closures

“My thoughts are with everyone in our community, and from communities throughout NSW, who are suffering from this severe weather event.”

Cr Suvaal took the time to praise every person who was lending a hand, too.

“Council crews have been out in force and working through the night as they continue to assess the impact of this flood event on our local roads,” he said.

“Cessnock City staff, NSW SES – Cessnock City Unit, Cessnock District Rescue Squad, Hunter Valley Police District and all emergency services, as always, are doing a fantastic job.

“I thank them for the work they are doing in keeping our community safe.

“But, I also remind residents to never drive through floodwater.

“Be aware of driving hazards such as mud, debris, damaged roads, fallen trees and branches, and avoid any unnecessary travel.”

Earlier, the NSW Government confirmed Cessnock as one of 23 Natural Disaster zones in the state.

“This is the first time we’ve ever had two such declarations within four months of each other,” Cr Suvaal said.

“The impact’s just devastating.”

To discover what assistance is available, go to www.recovery.gov.au//NSWflood

Or, if you need help, phone the NSW SES on 132 500.

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