Big wet dampens truckies' plans

Truck drivers feel the pain from flash flooding, as government warns motorists to avoid highways in NSW over the weekend

Big wet dampens truckies' plans
Big wet dampens truckies' plans
By Ruza Zivkusic | December 10, 2010

Fresh flood alerts have been issued for the central west of NSW over the weekend with flash flooding and gale force winds expected.

Truck drivers are being warned to take it easy on the roads and look for alternative routes as a band of rain continues to block 31 roads and highways in NSW.

Newell, Mitchell, Kamilaroi, Oxley and Castlereagh highways are at risk of flooding and are expected to close at various locations as river levels continue to rise.

Drivers going through the central west can expect delays for up to 48 hours at closed roads.

The NSW branch of the Australian Trucking Association has asked drivers to be patient on the roads.

"I’m sure there are hundred of trucks out there that can’t work because of the conditions," ATA NSW manager Jill Lewis says.

"There are now 43 areas in NSW that are flooded and that is certainly going to affect the transport industry and I think that people will notice between now and Christmas the supplies slowing down because of that and this will certainly have a big effect on them economically."

The Managing Director of Ron Crouch Transport, Geoff Crouch, had to temporarily relocate his business in Wagga Wagga (pictured) on Wednesday after heavy rain lashed the region.

"There has been a substantial impact financially with the costs in running from a temporary site for a couple of days, it causes a fair amount of extra overtime but there was no alternative, it was either that or not operate and what was not an option," Crouch says.

The general and dangerous goods specialists returned to its Schiller St depot today.

Drivers have been using alternative routes, which has added an extra hour to their normal trips, Crouch says.

"It’s a record rainfall for Wagga Wagga, we have never had this much rain for the month of December," he says.

"Last Thursday we had the entire December rainfall in three hours."

John Mawson, from Mawsons concrete quarry transport plant in Cohuna, Victoria, says building sites are too wet and access to them is limited, leaving little job for his subcontractors.

"Hopefully we won’t have any long-term impact but the work has just been delayed, not abandoned," Mawson says.

"The impact the weather is having on the condition of the roads is a real concern for us because the water is undermining the roads and causing the roads to break up.

"What we have learned from the 1974 and 1993 floods is that work doesn’t go away, when floods recede there’s more work to do because of the repairs that have to be made to the road."

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