FORGOTTEN and stranded, residents of St Albans and surrounding areas remain trapped by flood waters this morning and there are fears food is dwindling.
The tiny town located about an hour-and-a-half north-east of Richmond has been cut off from the rest of the world, after being battered by flash flooding for the second time in two weeks.
While the rest of the Hawkesbury dries off from the weekend’s downpour, access roads into the flood-stricken community, including St Albans, Settlers and Wollombi roads, have been washed out and it is believed hundreds of homes and properties are isolated. Webbs Creek, the Macdonald Valley and Colo areas have also been divided by floodwater, cutting main roads and power to the towns.
The dramatic scene unfolded as torrential rain fell causing the Macdonald and Colo river banks to break on Friday night, just one week after floodwater first poured through the towns, turning them into islands.
Some residents have been marooned for more than 10 days — a situation made worse by poor or no mobile coverage.
SES crews and flood rescue boats were called in over the weekend to make a number of rescues including one man who needed emergency transport from his home after he had run out of medicine.
The Gazette heard a local man used his own helicopter to winch a group of nine, two at a time, to safety after they became surrounded by rising waters on an Upper Macdonald property.
Meanwhile, a Mogo Creek resident told the Gazette an RFS volunteer and his wife with a local farmer and his three daughters trekked through tough terrain for more than four hours to reach a woman stranded at her property at Upper Macdonald, near Melon Creek, but they could only make verbal contact.
She was rescued seven days later by Polair with help from the Hawkesbury SES unit and taken to higher ground.
“Getting people out of the area was challenging over the weekend as the area was not accessible by road or boat,” SES Hawkesbury controller Kevin Jones said.
The weather also prevented helicopters from flying in the area.
There are also concerns for the numbers of holidaymakers visiting the areas, despite repeated flood warnings.
Secretary for St Albans Common Trust Sherri McMahon said a family including two small children and their grandmother had to be rescued from fast-flowing waters after driving their car through it.
Ms McMahon has also set up an email account to send flood updates to residents in the valley who have no TV, radio or phone.