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ABC News
ABC News
Harriet Tatham and Tim Swanston

Residents in NSW town of Moree still 'marooned' and waiting to start 'tedious' clean-up

While floodwaters have begun to recede in the regional NSW town of Moree, a community covered in mud has been left exposed. 

"So much gurneying," said Troy Wilson, who crossed the previously inaccessible bridge to help clean his daughters-in-law's sodden downstairs laundry — a task completed in thongs. 

After extensive rainfall over already sodden catchments, both the Mehi and Gywdir Rivers peaked at Moree on Sunday. 

More than 390 homes and businesses were inundated in the northern NSW town of almost 8,000 people.

Normally one of the most productive agricultural regions in the country, Moree's bumper crops were devastated.

What is causing all this rain and when will it end?

Since then, levels have been falling, albeit very slowly. 

Mark Williams' low-set home had water rise 40 centimetres up the walls. 

Now he and his children have started to fill their front yard with water-logged furniture and impacted possessions. 

On the one street, several of his family members have had their homes totally inundated. 

Thousands in Moree were subject to evacuation orders over the last week and some residents who chose to stay in their homes were trapped inside for days.

Sandy Bailey, his wife Ursh and daughter Milla say they're hoping to be out of their house and back on dry land on Wednesday. 

"We've been marooned for five days ... it's going down very, very slowly," he said. 

"The flood's going to do some damage. It's been a real mess." 

Despite the devastation, he and the family have tried to stay positive.

"Milla's been pretty helpful, we've had her on the hose for a little bit. 

"The first couple of days it was pretty cool, but I think the novelty has worn off now. 

"I ran out of beer yesterday." 

Standing knee deep in floodwater in her front yard, Belinda Cubis watched her dog Louie show off his aquatic prowess. 

"He's been chained up on the verandah ... if we don't keep him chained there he dives off into the water." 

She said she's one of the fortunate ones who managed to get her furniture out of harms way, but the slow-moving waters are making the clean up tedious. 

"This is the slowest it's ever been to get rid of it.

"We're waiting to clean the mud.

"It's devastating just to think there are people in town who've lost everything who didn't get things up in time." 

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and Emergency Minister Steph Cooke toured the region on Tuesday, reiterating the government's commitment to the area's recovery. 

The Premier said he'd been in "discussions" with the federal government and "where we can do more, we will" — although no dollar figure has been announced. 

Several primary producers remain completely cut off on the outskirts of the town, with supplies being delivered by air. 

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