EMERGENCY service volunteers have spent more than 180,000 hours responding to thousands of calls for help during the recent flood disaster in NSW.
Following the third wettest winter and wettest September on record, emergency services have responded to 4,200 requests and performed 130 flood rescues since in the five weeks since 30 August.
The prolonged flooding has led to widespread crop and infrastructure damage, disruptions along major transport routes and significant isolation of rural properties and communities.
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Two weeks ago, the Department of Primary Industries revealed the deluge had left more than 1.3 million hectares of farmland under water.
As a result, Natural Disaster Declarations have now been made in 28 Local Government Areas.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Justice and Police Troy Grant and Minister for Emergency Services David Elliott today paid tribute to all emergency service workers deployed across the region.
“I saw the sheer scale of damage caused by floods in Forbes in recent weeks and the amazing work of our volunteers there,” Mr Grant said.
“They all deserve our utmost admiration for volunteering to assist communities in times of extreme hardship and sacrificing time with their families or at their jobs.
“The recovery and rebuilding process would not be possible without the tireless work of our emergency services volunteers, and they deserve the entire state’s gratitude.”
Former Police Deputy Commissioner Dave Owens has been appointed the Regional Recovery Coordinator to coordinate the recovery process.
“It has been a very busy winter and spring for emergency service workers and we thank them for continuing to selflessly putting the needs of their community ahead of their own,” Mr Elliott said.
“This has been a prolonged flood and I want to assure communities that we will continue to support your recovery – no matter how long it takes.”