Gloucester is flooded: stay home this weekend

Drone photo of flooding in Billabong Park, Gloucester by David Hornery
Drone photo of flooding in Billabong Park, Gloucester by David Hornery

MidCoast Council is urging Gloucester residents to stay home and stay safe as the Gloucester and Barrington Rivers reach major flood levels.

The morning (Friday March 19) started off with the Bureau of Meteorology warning there may be minor to moderate flooding of the Gloucester River and it's looking to end with all entry points to town closed due to flooding.

The Bucketts Way at Stratford and Boundary Road in Gloucester were closed in the morning due to water over the road. By the afternoon, the Thunderbolts Way near Church Street was overrun by flood waters and closed to vehicle access.

According to MidCoast Council's Director Infrastructure and Engineering Services Robert Scott, the Gloucester and Barrington River rose faster than expected with the rainfall occurring outside of the gauged areas.

Drone footage by David Hornery

"Our advice to people is to stay at home and avoid unnecessary travel," Robert said.

At the time of publication, the Gloucester River had peaked but with the amount of water already in the waterways and the expected continuation of rain, more flooding is possible.

The overflow of the Gloucester River has seen the west side of Church Street flooded. Billabong car park, Billabong Lane and Billabong Park were all under flood water by the afternoon.

Members of the NSW SES Gloucester Unit had been called out to evacuate the caravan park and assist with backyard flooding and leaking roof throughout the day.

According to Gloucester Unit controller Rob McNiece there has been a load of sand dumped on King Street near Billabong Lane with a supply of sandbags and shovels for business owners to protect their properties. He explained that due to a lack of number of volunteer members, they were unable to provide this service themselves.

Police closed the Bucketts Way East on Friday afternoon due to flooding.

Police closed the Bucketts Way East on Friday afternoon due to flooding.

The intense rain has also caused a number of landslips across the region, most notably, one on Scone Road which has completely shut off access. Council has advised that this will require machinery and drier weather before it can be cleared.

Just before 5.00pm this afternoon, the police shut down the Bucketts Way East near the entrance to town after the Avon River, fed from the overflow of the Gloucester River, covered the road. Normally the Avon Rivers feeds into the Gloucester River.