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Huge river now expected as flows continue

The updated flood forecast has the Darling River at Bourke peaking at 12.2 metres in the first week of 2022. PHOTO TWH

Forecast flood heights for towns along the Barwon-Darling continue to rise with larger than expected tributary inflows adding massive volumes to the northern floodplains.

The Darling at Bourke is now expected to peak somewhere around 12.2 metres early in the New Year, with a peak flow of 75,000 megalitres per day.

Floods of this magnitude were experienced in Bourke in 2001 (a peak of 12.28 metres) and 2011 (a peak of 12.56 metres).

There is a real challenge in managing this water, according to WaterNSW Systems Operations Manager, Adrian Langdon.

“There are more and more inflows coming down the rivers and hitting the gauges, even since last week,” Mr Langdon said.

“Flows from the Border Rivers have increased considerably forcing the Barwon River at Mungindi from an expected 7.7 metres last week at to over 7.9 metres.

“That looks like a slight rise but the difference is that the volume of water is doubled,” he said.

“We saw a peak there of 70 thousand megalitres a day which is much higher than the 30 thousand megalitres per day expected last week.

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