• Emergency authorities have issued an evacuation order for low-lying properties in Moree. (ABC )Source: ABC
Residents of low-lying properties in the northern New South Wales town of Moree have been told to move to higher ground, as flooding affects the region.
Shahni Wellington

24 Mar 2021 - 2:53 PM  UPDATED 24 Mar 2021 - 4:18 PM

All residents of low-lying properties in the northern New South Wales town of Moree have been told to evacuate their homes due to rising flood waters.

The alert comes as the Mehi River is expected to peak at 9pm on Wednesday night, reaching 10.4 metres.

The region is on high alert, with First Nations people making up more than 20 per cent of the Moree population.

Areas affected by the evacuation order are all properties north of Iris Street, south of Doobie and west of Edward Street, east of Frome Street, Warialda Street, Gosport Street, Morton Street, McElhone Street, North of Heber Street, and west of Boundary Street.

The Moree Plains Shire Local Government Area is yet to be declared a natural disaster area by the state government, but the residents join more than 18,000 people who have been evacuated across New South Wales. 

An evacuation centre has been established at the Moree PCYC.

Those impacted by the order are asked to leave as early as possible to avoid restricted roads and to take pets and essential items with them.

Authorities are also keeping a close eye on the nearby Gwydir River, Barwon River in Mungindi, and the Macintyre River at Boggabilla.

It comes as other regions across New South Wales deal with devastating floods, including the mid-north coast and Western Sydney.

"Our community will stick together"

As the lower-level parts of the area are evacuated, preparations are underway for other areas that will be impacted at the river's peak.

According to locals, at midday Wednesday, homes, ovals, parts of shopping centres and a golf course were already submerged.

Kamilaroi man and Deputy Chair of the Moree Local Aboriginal Land Council, Lloyd Munro, told the ABC that residents were supporting one another. 

"Our community is a very strong community and we stick together, bind together, in times like this and it is no different this week.

"We have got our football club, the Moree Boomerang football club - their players out today, sandbagging and a lot of other community people out there doing the same," Mr Munro said.

While the Mehi River is expected to peak at 9pm, in the meantime Mr Munro is concerned for access routes in the town.

"The lower bridge in Moree is closed, and the big bridge at the moment is still open. That is Council's affair, they look after that. But in saying that, if it comes up any further, no doubt they will close at some time too," Mr Munro told the ABC.