The threat of flooding in the Hunter Region eased on Sunday as the Hunter River peaked at Singleton, sparing the town from a major flood.
The river peaked at 7.45am on Sunday morning in the Upper Hunter town at a height of 12.71 metres.
"That's under the major flood level by 29 centimetres," NSW SES Northern Zone Hunter superintendent Graeme Craig said.
Superintendent Craig said the flood at Singleton reached "high on the moderate scale".
"It didn't quite reach the major flood level. Of course, that was a great outcome because we were forecasting a moderate to major flood."
Nevertheless, he said the emergency services were "still very much operational in Singleton".
"This flood is not over," he said.
"We need to be very conscious that the risks of being around floodwater are real. We'll still be operating, probably as late as Thursday."
Jayden Reid, of the Hunter Regional Livestock Exchange, said there had been serious concern as it was thought the river would rise above 13 metres.
The exchange offered the Singleton sale yards to house animals, such as cattle, horses and sheep.
"We didn't get a lot of stock in, but a lot of people moved their stock to higher ground," Mr Reid said.
Surf Lifesaving NSW chief executive Steven Pearce said the SES "tasked Surf Lifesaving to provide two drone teams to operate around the Singleton area to provide flood reconnaissance and surveillance".
This helped the SES make operational decisions such as evacuations.
Superintendent Craig said Singleton's town was not significantly affected, but property and roads were underwater.
The low-lying areas of Whittingham, Scotts Flat, Glenridding, Dunolly and Combo were subject to an evacuation order on Saturday night.
An evacuation warning was issued in these low-lying areas around Singleton that then "manifested into an evacuation order".
"That order was issued into the early evening on Saturday.
We're also aware that many people chose not to evacuate and stayed to protect their property."
Some of those areas were still subject to that evacuation order, but Glenridding and Dunolly were given the all clear on Sunday afternoon.
Emergency services were ramping up operations at Maitland, where the flood was at "minor level" on Sunday and expected to peak on Monday.
"It's heading towards the moderate flood level, but is not expected to reach that at this time," Superintendent Craig said.
The minor flood level meant "low-lying floodplain and farmland inundation".
As the flood progressed from Singleton to Maitland, these types of areas - like Lambs Valley and Rosebrook - were at risk of being "isolated by floodwater".
"We need to be very clear that regardless of how long people have lived in a particular location, all floods behave differently," he said.
In this instance, some places were unexpectedly flooded. Other spots had lower flood levels than expected.
The flood will continue to be managed downstream, out to Raymond Terrace and the sea.
On Friday, Scone did experience a "major flood" at Kingdon Ponds, with five low-lying houses flooded.
"The towns weren't affected. It was the out-lying properties and the known low, flood-susceptible areas," he said.
"We certainly had flooding at Aberdeen and moderate flooding at Muswellbrook. Basically all the towns downstream on the Hunter River suffered some degree of flooding."
Dozens of properties were flooded through the Hunter Valley.
"As far as inundation over floor levels, there weren't many reported at all. Certainly there would have been a number of properties with overland flooding on their properties.
"Some of the houses that had water in them were in parts that are well known to flood."
These often had tile or concrete ground floors. In these places, residents were mostly protected from flood by living on floors above the flood-zone.
The weather had been on the side of the SES since heavy rain fell on Thursday night and Friday morning.
"Light rain has continued fairly widely. There's a minor and low risk of rain over the coming days, which has been favourable to the flood level.
"So we haven't had to consider the added complexity of local rainfall. We're expecting that trend to continue over the coming days, as we see this flood peak through Maitland and ultimately to Raymond Terrace."
Superintendent Craig said resources were in place for the flood peaks to come in these areas.
Stacey Nicholson has two horses along the river at Lorn.
"We've moved one and the other I can't move, so I've just got to watch his paddock," she said on Sunday.
"It's making life interesting. But I grew up around Scone and floods are not unusual for me. It's not the water that's worried me, it's the fences going down and horses getting out on the road."
Superintendent Craig said it was important to remind everyone not to swim, play, ride or drive in floodwater.
"You don't know what's under it. You don't know if the road has been undermined or washed away. You can't see that from above," he said.
"There is a very serious health risk of swimming in floodwater. It's not smart or safe. It should be avoided at all costs because it will make you sick," he said.
Floodwater was contaminated with the likes of chemicals, insecticides, animal waste and septic water.
Since Friday, the SES had completed 10 flood rescues.
"Most of those were cars into water. They were on Friday, as this was unfolding," he said.
"The fact there was no loss of life is more by good luck and testimony to the excellent work our volunteer and partner agencies do to rescue those people when they get stuck."
Since Thursday night, the SES had received 307 requests for help in the Hunter.
A flood in the Upper Hunter village of Cassilis on Thursday night led to over-floor flooding in nine houses.
"Those have now been cleaned out, the carpets taken. Recovery agencies have looked after that," he said.
"I believe those people have moved back into those houses in part."
On Friday, a police officer, stationed at Cassilis, dashed to the aid of his neighbours when their homes were inundated. At Wybong, two police officers waded into floodwaters to rescue a 52-year-old man, who became stranded with his vehicle 400 metres from the road, after being swept from a flooded spillway.
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