18 October 2022

'The rivers aren't going to respond how you think they are': Narrandera waits for flood peak

| Chris Roe
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Flooded road

Rivers remain hard to predict with so much water around. Photo: Deb Myers.

Residents of Narrandera are enduring a nervous wait today as the Murrumbidgee River continues to rise more slowly than expected.

The main flood peak was expected to reach the town this afternoon with predictions of 8.20 metres; however, by 2 pm the water remained hovering under 8 metres.

Authorities have warned that major flooding is still possible overnight Tuesday.

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Waters continue to recede upstream in Wagga, where Gumly Gumly residents who evacuated have been told they can now return with caution.

They have been warned that care should be taken as flood damage could be widespread and some flooding continues, and to be aware of mud and debris.

Moorong remains under a ”watch and act” warning with ongoing minor flooding, debris and pooling along McNickle Road, Edward Street West and Roach Road.

Muddy bridge

Wagga City Council has begun clean-up works on Eunony Bridge Road. Photo: WWCC.

Wagga City Council crews have begun clean-up works on Eunony Bridge Road, removing debris from the floodwaters that inundated the road last week.

The flooding event caused some underlying damage to the pavement on the stretch south of the bridge, and the road remains closed.

Crews are also assessing other local roads and posted on social media that “the timing of these repairs will depend on the weather, with the Bureau of Meteorology predicting another significant rain event for later this week”.

Closed road

Motorists are urged to heed road closures. Photo: Narrandera SES Unit.

There looks likely to be little reprieve, with further rainfall forecast from Wednesday.

With saturated ground and full tributaries, it is feared there could be renewed river level rises and flooding from later this week.

SES assistant commissioner Sean Kearns said the situation was being closely monitored and warned that the next 24 hours would be critical.

“The rivers aren’t going to respond how you think they are, because the rivers are already at high levels,” he said.

“We’re going to see further rainfall that’s literally just going to run off straight into the river systems.”

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Further downstream, moderate flooding is likely at Darlington Point and Carrathool, while Hay is bracing for major levels.

The SES has renewed warnings to motorists to avoid floodwaters following six rescues across the state.

Video has been released of SES units from Narrandera and Leeton carrying out a flood rescue after a truck had failed to adhere to road closures and became stuck in between flooding creeks.

As the creek was flowing rapidly, the team was deployed to extract and safely assist the driver to safety.

You can stay up to date with the latest on the Narrandera SES Facebook page here and you can keep an eye on the river heights here.

For emergency help in floods and storms, call the NSW SES on 132 500.

In life-threatening situations, call triple zero immediately.

To stay abreast of local road closures around Wagga, visit wagga.nsw.gov.au/flooding.

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