4.5 million litre tank explodes

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A woman is injured and homes are flooded after a huge reservoir in Cooma burst, causing thousands of litres of water to gush down the town’s quiet streets.

Emergency services rushed to Moorong Place in the southern NSW town just after 9pm tonight to reports a tank, with 4.5 million litres of water in it, had burst.

Homes in the cul-de-sac were flooded after water rushed down the hill, injuring one woman.

In a statement, NSW Police said the town would still have drinking water after council officers managed to save the second tank.

The water tanks are obvious from satellites, nestled on Cooma’s North just above homes.

“Streets and homes in Cooma have been flooded after a water tank burst, sending thousands of litres of water through the town earlier this evening,” police said.

“Multiple calls were made to Triple-0 by residents when water began flowing down from the town water tank situated on the north ridge shortly after 9.15pm.

“A woman has sustained minor injuries and has been taken by paramedics for treatment.

“A car was swept 800m down the road into a truck, with other cars also subsequently damaged.

“Some residents have also reported water has flowed through their homes and council officers are assisting police checking damage to buildings.

“Only one tank was damaged, and the town still has drinking water via the second tank.

“SES volunteers are en route to the scene.”

Warwick Rendell, whose dad was caught up in the water flow, said his father’s car was pushed inside the garage.

“Dad just called. He heard thunder rumbling, then heard a jolt against the house,” he said.

“The Cooma North reservoir broke and flooded a huge chunk of Cooma North, sending two feet of water through his house, totalling his recently-replaced car, and collecting other cars in his yard.”

Cooma, in the south of New South Wales, was in one of the five areas the Rural Fire Service warned people should not be in yesterday as severe fire danger was forecast for much of the state.

The country town was plunged into darkness before 5pm tonight as bushfire smoke blanketed the area.

But the locals already terrified one of the state’s many out-of-control fires would descend on their town are instead dealing with a different disaster tonight.

The NSW RFS reiterated yesterday it needed people out of five large areas before today, when fire danger was forecast to be worse than New Year’s Eve.

The fire organisation said it wanted people out from around Sydney’s southwestern and western fringes, including north of Mittagong and west of Penrith where the Grose Valley fire is still burning uncontrolled; the Shoalhaven from Burrill Lake to Nowra; Batemans Bay to the Victorian border; the Snowy Valley areas including Tarcutta, Batlow and Tumbarumba and finally the Snowy Monaro area including Adaminaby to Cooma, Jindabyne and Perisher.

“Go somewhere that isn’t in one of those areas,” Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said, giving beaches, already-burnt-out areas, cities and large towns as safe places.

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