11 Dec 2010

Post-flood cleanup begins in New South Wales

2:45 pm on 11 December 2010

As floodwaters subside in the eastern states of Australia, emergency service workers have begun a massive clean-up.

Most rivers have dropped below their flood peaks, but with more rain expected, warnings are still in place.

Residents of the city of Queanbeyan, in south-eastern New South Wales, gathered on the banks of the swollen Queanbeyan River to witness the aftermath of Thursday's floods.

The river has fallen and so have several other rivers across New South Wales, including the Peel near Tamworth and the Macquarie near Dubbo.

The state government has declared the area a natural disaster zone, with the damage bill estimated to be in the millions.

State government help promised

Residents told the ABC it's the worst flooding they have experienced.

"I can't believe how much debris has been deposited here," one local said. "Basically it's about 10 metres of timber stacked up on top of the bridge, down near the causeway. It's pretty amazing."

Emergency Services Minister Steve Whan has assured Queanbeyan residents the government will help with the cost of cleaning up.