Hundreds of people have been rescued by helicopters and boats after flooding in the Australian state of New South Wales.

Heavy rains and thunderstorms battered parts of the state, some of which were still recovering from similar flooding days earlier.

Cowra, which is around 166 miles west of Sydney, received 121mm of rain in the 24 hours to Monday morning – the highest rainfall in 118 years, according to official data.

In the 48 hours to Monday morning there were 165mm at Tuena in the Southern Tablelands, 127mm at Forbes Airport and 118mm at Orange, while in neighboring Victoria Mount Hotham received 144mm and Tallandoon 133mm.

The New South Wales State Emergency Service said it carried out 222 flood rescues and received 909 requests for help in the 24 hours to Tuesday morning.

This included around 150 people rescued from nearby Eugowra and Molong on Monday, 67 of them by the New South Wales Rural Fire Service.

Many of those rescued had clung to trees or were sitting on rooftops.

Chief Superintendent of State Emergency Services Dallas Burnes said residents of Eugowra were shocked at how quickly the water level had risen.

“The speed was extremely fast – too fast in many cases to launch boats – hence the evacuations we carried out yesterday with the 12 assets we had on hand by helicopter,” he said. he told Nine’s Today.

‘Lucky to be alive’

Libby Noble was near Eugowra and said her family farm had been flooded at least to kitchen bench height.

She told the Sydney Morning Herald the farmhouse was left completely underwater, while her 85-year-old mother-in-law was in the family home when she was swept away.

“The house was picked up and washed there with my mother-in-law inside,” she told the newspaper.

“She is very lucky to be alive.

“It’s really inconceivable.

“Of course, Eugowra floods, but never like that, and never in those areas.”

“I was hanging on for dear life”

Her mother-in-law told ABC: “I was calling (the emergency number) 000 and the water was getting higher and higher, and then I had to stand on a chair to get out of the water, and I stayed there for hours.

“I was looking out the window and no one came.

“Finally I saw two men wading through the water where it was the road and I knocked on the window and I shouted, and they saw me, and they came down and took me let out.

“It was freezing cold because I had been there for hours.

“I haven’t had much time to think.

“I clung to my life and hoped for the best and thought that was it.”

Second flood in as many weeks

Forbes, about 270 miles west of Sydney, is battling its second flood in as many weeks, with the Lachlan River expected to reach 10.8 meters – levels not seen since the 1952 flood.

Evacuation orders had to be brought forward two hours after floodwaters rose faster than expected.

About 600 properties in the town – which has a population of around 8,000 – are at risk of flooding.

Mayor Phyllis Miller told the Australian Broadcasting Corp: “They can’t believe this can happen twice in such a short time.

“I’m an optimist in my life, but it’s really heartbreaking.”

Volunteers arriving from abroad

New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet said the Federal Government would deploy an additional 100 defense personnel to help in what is the largest flood rescue operation in the history of New South Wales. the state.

Volunteers have arrived from New Zealand and the state has also requested help from the United States and Singapore, he added.

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