Major flood expected in Barwon-Darling


There were similar flood peaks at Bourke in 2001 (12.28 metres) and 2011 (12.56 metres). PHOTO TWH

A flood peak of around 12.2 metres is expected at Bourke late in the first week of January 2022, with an expected daily flow of at least 75,000 megalitres per day.

Prior to this, the Barwon at Brewarrina is expected to peak at 8.4 metres just after Christmas.

This follows massive flooding at Mungindi on the Queensland Border and floods throughout the Border Rivers, Gwydir, Namoi, Macquarie and Culgoa River systems.

Although this New Year flood will look like a massive amount of water as it breaks out onto the floodplain, it will be some two metres lower than the floods of 1974 (14.08m) and 1976 (14.28m).

And those two events were not the biggest floods since non-Aboriginal people stumbled over the Darling River and built the town of Bourke.

The biggest recorded floods since European settlement were in 1864 (14.52m) and 1890 (14.40m). Both these floods inundated the town, which was not protected by levee banks.

A plaque recording the height of the 1890 flood is located at the front of the Bourke Post Office building. Levee banks were subsequently built for flood protection.

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