1 November 2022

Evacuations as flash flooding sweeps through the Riverina and Southern Tablelands

| Chris Roe
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Adelong Flood

Adelong’s Main Street at 12:30 am Tuesday (1 November). Photo: Gundagai Floods (Facebook).

Cootamundra, Adelong, Tumut and a handful of villages across the Riverina and Southern Tablelands saw evacuations overnight as rain thundered down turning streets into rivers, submerging bridges and inundating homes.

Evacuation orders were put in place for Cootamundra, Boorowa Dam, Tumut Caravan Park, Willow Bend and Adelong and social media was awash with flood pictures as residents found themselves suddenly stranded or fleeing for higher ground.

READ ALSO VIDEO: Flash flooding turns Wagga streets into rivers

In many cases, the water disappeared almost as quickly as it arrived, putting communities downstream on high alert.

Gundagai has weathered three big rivers in the last few months, but is now bracing for the Murrumbidgee to reach its highest level since 1989 with major flooding expected this afternoon.

In Cootamundra, low-lying streets were evacuated as the Muttama Creek became a raging river.

Cootamundra Flooding

Cootamundra’s Cutler Ave and Northcott Ave at 10 pm Monday (31 October). Photo: Ron South (Facebook).

Cootamundra-Gundagai Mayor Charlie Sheahan was out surveying the damage in Cootamundra this morning and said the town went on alert last night.

“I got a call from the Minister, Steph Cooke, at about 8 pm at night to say that we were going to be severely impacted by floods around midnight and the information that she gave us was pretty spot on,” he said.

“We had to evacuate about 120 people in the middle of the night, a lot of them elderly, and honestly, I can’t thank Council staff enough.

“They did a great job with very little notice in preparation and so far nothing’s been reported in terms of deaths or injuries, but there’s a fair bit of damage around the town.”

READ ALSO As flooding continues, it’s time to talk about the Gobba Bridge traffic

He said his own property came close to going under.

“Fortunately it didn’t happen, but I really feel for the people that have been impacted,” he said.

“We’ll just do what we can and get on top of this and deal with the job in front of us.”

In Adelong, the main street went underwater with a number of residents along nearby streets ordered to leave.

The Boorowa Dam spilled over in the night, cutting power to thousands of homes and forcing two streets to be evacuated.

The power outage also impacted phone services with Telstra customers across southern NSW cut off this morning.

An evacuation order was also issued for the Tumut caravan park as the river edged into moderate flooding levels today.


Tumut Riverglades Caravan Park on Tuesday morning. Photo: Chris Dowell (Facebook).

Gundagai is now bracing for major flooding with predictions that the Murrumbidgee River could reach 8.8 – 9.0 metres early this afternoon, with more water on the way.

It’s estimated that Burrinjuck Dam has 110,000 megalitres going compared to 50,000 megalitres flowing out.

Gundagai flood

Gobarralong Bridge near Gundagai was closed overnight on Monday. Photo: Peter Gailey.

For the latest information from the NSW SES, follow them on Facebook or on their website.

For the latest weather, warnings, rainfall and river heights go to the BOM website.

For evacuation alerts, keep an eye on Hazard Watch.

For the latest road closures, go to the Live Traffic website or call 132 701.

For emergency help in floods and storms, call the NSW State Emergency Service on 132 500. In life-threatening situations, call triple zero (000) immediately.

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