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'Waiting game' for flood-ravaged NSW

AAP logoAAP 26/09/2016 Sophie Tarr

A natural disaster zone has been declared in flood-hit parts of central western NSW as locals prepare to be drenched anew.

Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan and NSW Deputy Premier Troy Grant announced on Tuesday that funds would be made available to 21 flood-affected local government areas under the jointly-funded Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.

"There is no doubt that crop losses have been huge," Mr Grant told reporters in Forbes.

"But we are urging the community here to continue to remain resilient.

"They'll get through this. We will persevere. We will prevail."

The recovery assistance on offer included help for locals whose homes have been damaged, funds for local councils to help with the clean-up, concessional loans for small businesses and freight subsidies for farmers.

More rain is expected on Thursday and Friday as the flood peak moves downstream from Forbes towards Condobolin, where flooding is forecast to peak by Wednesday next week.

Emergency services have warned residents to be prepared to leave if needed and sittings at courthouses at Forbes, Condobolin and Lake Cargelligo have been cancelled for next week.

The SES have notched up 2450 calls for help over the four weeks since the disaster began, and the number of rescues carried out by the service has topped 100 - including an operation overnight to save two moggies from a cut-off Forbes property.

Forbes Mayor Phyllis Miller spent Tuesday afternoon in the small township of Bedgerabong, where supply roads have been cut off and many homes suddenly boast water views.

She said the already-isolated residents were stepping up their sandbagging efforts as locals braced for more rain.

"It is a waiting game," Ms Miller said.

"We've been doing this for nearly a month so everyone's getting a bit tired."

She said that crop-growers had taken a significant hit.

Federal Minister for Small Business Michael McCormack said he had heard north of 70 per cent of crops in the district had been wiped out and that would have a flow-on effect on the local economy.

Local vet Krista Jenkins, of the Forbes Veterinary Clinic, said the big wet had forced her to shut up shop over the weekend.

But on Tuesday she was busy reopening her clinic with fingers crossed, telling AAP the business could not afford to stay closed.

And if the rains returned, as predicted? "We'll just have to pack up again."

Her home is now surrounded by a shallow moat, but Ms Jenkins said she had decided to stay put, along with her four dogs and six cats.

"And our poor sheep down the paddock, who we couldn't move in time because we were too busy evacuating the clinic. They've been belly-deep in water but they're OK," she said.

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