SUMA PARK DAM FLOOD WARNING

ORANGE City Council's dam failure warning system for Suma Park Dam has reached an amber alert level, meaning the flow of water over the wall is approaching dangerous levels and that the dam may be at risk of failure, according to the State Emergency Service.

The dam is not expected to fail but if the water keeps rising, a red alert could be triggered and flooding of the Clifton Grove and downstream rural properties to Ophir is possible.

Nearly half a metre of water is currently pouring over the dam wall.

The general view of local authorities is that there is little to no risk of dam failure unless there was to be a deluge of rain over the next 24 hours.

Residents should monitor the situation closely and be prepared to evacuate immediately if instructed to do so.

Evacuation centres will be established at -

* Orange Ex-Services Club, Anson Street in Orange for residents on the western (Orange) side of Summer Hill Creek

* Clifton Grove Rural Fire Service station for residents on the eastern (Clifton Grove) side of Summer Hill Creek

* Kallara Nursery for residents on the northern side of Third Crossing.

To prepare for possible evacuation, the SES has advises residents to -

* Remove livestock and equipment from low-lying areas.

* Raise belongings by placing them on tables, beds and benches. Put electrical items on top. You may be able to place light weight items in the roof space.

* Collect together medicines, personal and financial documents, mementos and photos

* If possible, check to see if your neighbours need help.

* Make arrangements for care of pets or other animals, or take your pets with you when you evacuate

* Take three days' supply of clothing and medicines

* Find out where to turn off the electricity and gas

For more information contact: (02) 6334 8555.

For more information see tomorrow's Central Western Daily.

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