Panic buying has hit supermarkets across New South Wales as the worst storm in a century caused major flooding and cut off major roads.
From Sydney’s north-western outskirts to the Mid North Coast, bread, vegetables, eggs and meat have been flying off the shelves as residents prepared to evacuate with more heavy rain forecast for Monday and Tuesday.
The Woolworths supermarket at Lakewood, on the Mid North Coast, was last night cleared of bread after residents were told to leave in nearby North Haven, Laurieton, Dunbogan and Diamond Head.
The towns on the Camden Haven River, 35km south of Port Macquarie, have seen panic buying reminiscent of the Covid lockdowns a year ago.
‘I went into the shops to grab bread for the kids’ breakfast and there was literally nothing on the shelves,’ a local mother-of-two told Daily Mail Australia.
Panic buying has hit supermarkets across New South Wales as flood-hit towns deal with the heaviest rain in a century. The Woolworths supermarket at Lakewood, on the state’s Mid North Coast, was last night cleared of bread
‘The vegetable aisles were also bare.
‘I felt so angry and frustrated as we haven’t had power for days and lots of the food for easy meals was gone by the time I arrived.
‘But there are heaps of people doing it tougher than us.’
Making matters worse, the Pacific Highway is closed between Taree and Coopernook, stopping grocery supplies from Sydney and the Central Coast.
The panic buying phenomenon has also occurred at Richmond, on Sydney’s north-western outskirts as the Hawkesbury-Nepean River burst its banks, causing the worst flooding in three decades and sparking an evacuation order.
The panic buying phenomenon has also occurred at Richmond, on Sydney’s north-western outskirts
The Coles supermarket there has run out of meat, bread and eggs
The Coles supermarket there has run out of meat, bread and eggs.
Major flooding continues at North Richmond and nearby Windsor, as well as the Colo River at Upper Colo.
As of Monday morning, the Hawkesbury River at North Richmond had swollen to 13.29 metres and the weather bureau feared worse was to come.
The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting flooding along the Hawkesbury River that hasn’t been experienced since 1990.
‘Renewed rises are possible with forecast rainfall,’ it said.
The State Emergency Service on Sunday issued an evacuation order for low-lying areas of North Richmond and western parts of Penrith.
Further upstream, the Nepean River at Penrith had risen to eight metres, compared with 6.55 metres at Menangle Bridge and 6.93 metres at Wallacia Weir.
Major flooding continues at North Richmond and Windsor. Pictured is the Windsor Leagues Club
The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting flooding along the Hawkesbury River that hasn’t been experienced since 1990. Pictured are workers at the Windsor Leagues Club removing a fridge
As of Monday morning on the Mid North Coast, the Camden Haven River at Laurieton had fallen back to 1.19 metres after peaking on Saturday.
Laurieton Public School is closed after residents in lower-lying areas were evacuated on Saturday.
It was one of 211 schools across the state that have so far been closed.
The SES issued an evacuation order on Saturday, advising floodwaters were set to peak at 2.1 metres and be higher than in 1978.
The Mid North Coast has copped the heaviest rain and storm conditions in a century.
Residents were evacuated in nearby North Haven, Laurieton and Dunbogan. Pictured is a bus shelter at Camden Head Road in Dunbogan
The State Emergency Service issued an evacuation order, advising floodwaters were set to peak at 2.1 metres and be higher than in 1978. Pictured is the oval at Laurieton which is now under water
The evacuation order also covered Dunbogan which runs alongside the Camden Haven River
North of Port Macquarie, Kempsey residents were ordered to evacuate on Sunday with major flooding possible along the Macleay River at Kempsey and Smithtown Monday morning.
Evacuation orders are now in place for low lying areas of Kempsey, Macksville, Port Macquarie, the lower Macleay, Wauchope and Rawdon Island, Taree and Wingham.
Locals are being asked to move possessions above the predicted flood height, take pets, essential items, warm clothes, medicines, insurance documents and valuables with them and stay with family or friends, or head to evacuation centres.
Kempsey recorded 173mm of rain between 9am Sunday to 4am on Monday, and it is not subsiding.
Heavy rain is likely to lead to flash flooding and will remain a serious risk for the Northern Rivers and Mid North Coast on Monday and Tuesday, the Bureau of Meteorology said.
North of Port Macquarie, Kempsey residents were ordered to evacuate on Sunday with major flooding possible along the Macleay River at Kempsey and Smithtown Monday morning
The Mid North Coast has copped the heaviest rain in a century. Pictured is Short Street in Port Macquarie on Saturday