For most people in flood affected parts of the Hunter clean up has already begun, but for others they are only just being allowed back home to assess the damage.
Today the State Emergency Service gave the all clear to return with caution to 5551 George Downes Drive at Bucketty and 912 Murrays Run Road at Laguna.
The small pockets within the Cessnock LGA were among those under evacuation orders, as the nearby Wollombi Brook surged above historic peaks and heavy rain saw low-lying areas submerged.
More than a week on from the height of the destruction and the SES says the threat to the properties has reduced enough for people to return.
But they are advising locals take care, as flood damage can be widespread.
What you need to do:
• Drive slowly, plan your route carefully to avoid any flooded
roads and allow extra travel time. Damage to roads, bridges
or buildings caused by flooding and landslip may still exist in
• Be aware of road hazards including mud and debris.
• Remain vigilant as there could still be water in low lying areas.
• Take care as local roads could still have water over them.
• Check in on your neighbours if safe to do so.
• Check on animals and livestock.
If your property has been affected by floodwater
• Make sure your property is safe before entering. Check for
damage to windows, walls and the roof and be careful of
potential dangers including asbestos.
• Make sure the electricity and gas are turned off before going
inside. Use a torch to carry out inspections inside buildings.
• If power points, electrical equipment, appliances or electrical
hot water systems have been exposed to floodwater or are
water damaged in any way, they must be inspected by a
qualified electrician before use.
• Gas appliances and gas bottles that have been exposed to
floodwater should be inspected for safety before use.
• Wear suitable protective clothing, including boots and gloves
when cleaning up.
• Sandbags that have been in contact with floodwater need to
be thrown away. Sturdy gloves should be worn when handling
wet sandbags as they can contain chemicals, waste, and
• Be aware of any slip, trip or fall hazards.
• Never eat food which has been in contact with floodwater.
• Only use clean utensils and personal items.