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Flood warnings still being ignored while intense storms over parts of the New South Wales north coast have flooded farmland and damaged crops

March 20, 2017 - 14:06 -- Admin

ABC News, 20 March 2017:PHOTO: The community of New Italy, near Woodburn received 445 millimetres of rain on Saturday alone.(Supplied: Keryn Clapham)Intense storms over parts of the New South Wales north coast have flooded farmland and damaged crops.The community of New Italy, near Woodburn, received almost half a metre of rain on Saturday alone, while Dorrigo had 430 millimetres over the weekend.Woodburn State Emergency Service (SES) unit controller Jim McCormack, also a beef farmer in the district, said it had been more than 40 years since a rain event like this."The system just sat over the top of us for a number of hours and just belted us with everything it had," Mr McCormack said."It was so intense for that five or six hour period on Saturday morning, it caused all sorts of issues for our SES unit as well, but people are seeing water where they have never seen water for a long, long time."Mr McCormack said a fall of 443 millimetres at New Italy resulted in water backing up in places that had not been flooded for years….FLOOD WARNINGS STILL BEING IGNOREDThe State Emergency Service says warnings about staying out of flood waters are still being ignored by some.There were several reports of children playing in flood waters across the Northern Rivers at the weekend.The reports follow the death of an 11-year-old boy who was playing in a flooded park in Wollongong last week.Clarence-Nambucca SES regional controller Caroline Ortel says people have been found in flood waters swimming, playing and paddling on surfboards."We have to ask them to move on and where they won't listen to the advice of our members, we're having to call the police in to ask them to move on," she said.The Richmond-Tweed SES received 168 calls for help and carried out 15 flood rescues over the weekend.Between #Yamba and #Macksville there were 337 call outs and 10 flood rescues, with the majority in the #CoffsHarbour and #Bellingen areas.The SES says despite river levels dropping across the region some residents, mainly in the #CouttsCrossing and #Orara River areas, will remain isolated for the next few days.