NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell says Wagga's flood emergency has devastated many families.
"What we're seeing in too many places across the state are homes that are being flooded," Mr O'Farrell told the media gathered in Wagga this afternoon.
"That's devastating for those families concerned."
But Mr O'Farrell said he had been impressed by the region's community spirit and resilience.
"There are families that are putting up with an enormous amount but you know what, they're doing it well," he said.
"And even more extraordinarily, when sandbags are required to be filled, a community emerges from the darkness to do so. It's just fantastic community spirit."
The Premier flew into flood-stricken Wagga this morning, touring SES headquarters and speaking to the media at a joint press conference with the NSW SES.
NSW SES incident controller James McTavish said he had been pleased by the community's response to evacuation orders, given the risks involved.
"It's a very significant flood emergency and we do have grave concerns for people's safety right across the region," he said.
Mr McTavish warned the road to recovery would be tough, with many homes and farmlands inundated and livestock killed.
"We're expecting that the recovery process from this is going to be lengthy and very difficult," he said.
Two community meetings are scheduled for this evening to provide residents with information regarding the current flood situation.
The location and times of the meetings are as follows:
The Murrumbidgee River is expected to reach 10.9m around 3pm on Tuesday March 6, which is likely to threaten the CBD, Wagga central, Flowerdale and surrounding areas.
The likely affected areas are those that are located:
The SES has directed all residents within CBD, Wagga Central, Flowerdale and surrounding areas to evacuate.
For people who need assistance, evacuation centres have been set up by Community Services: Wagga High School – Cnr Coleman & MacLeay Streets, Mount Austin High School – Levenworth Drive, Mount Austin Primary School – Bourke Street, Kooringal High School – Zielger Avenue,