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More rain and more big rivers

The North Boukre Bridge standing in 11.55 metres of floodwater on Tuesday. Insets l-r: Garry Mooring from Rose Isle and Phillip Ridge of Jandra Station, Photo TWH

The current wet weather conditions have proven the old adage -‘Every cloud has a silver lining’, with some graziers grateful for the record breaking rain renewing pastures for stock and others counting the cost of the damage.

Bourke, Brewarrina, and Walgett Shire Councils are also tallying the bill – lost economic input from cancelled events, road repairs and interrupted services.

Tourism operators are also re-drawing their balance sheets, with many closing their operations early as travellers take heed of the warnings and stay put.

Over the five days to Monday, 150mils drenched the west, with Bourke recording its wettest October in 60 years and the fourth wettest in more than 150 years – and there’s still more to come.

Amateur forecasters and weather enthusiasts are having a field day as the records tumble and some of the unofficial totals received around the region showed 106.3mm at the Bourke airport over just four days until Saturday – the highest rainfall tally for the month since 2010.

Lindsay Davis of Shannon Station near Fords Bridge recorded 195mm up until last Saturday and Cooncoolie station north of Fords Bridge had 175mm.

Mr Davis said he’d never seen rain like this in the 40 years he’d been at Shannon.

WeatherZone senior meteorologist Brett Dutschke has been busy keeping up with the tumbling records and said he expected more records to break, and more flooding as the next front moved through later this week and into the next.

“Nyngan, Bourke, Hungerford, Thargomindah and right across the region will all see more rain before it starts clearing and all up there is the potential for widespread 5-15mm, while some areas will pick up 20mms or more,” he said.

“The wet will continue, we’ll see water on the roads, lots of potholes and I urge everyone to take care around the rivers.

“We’ve seen significant flooding over the past three weeks but the 50-150mm this week has renewed flooding from Bathurst to Menindee Lakes, with flooding on every western river running into the Barwon Darling system.

“Bourke is expecting a peak height of 12 metres by the end of next week, there’ll be moderate flooding because of that river height at Louth and major flooding at Tilpa with a flood level of 11.75 meters.

“That will make its way to Menindee Lakes which is at 9.1 meters now. For the next four to five months, we’ll see a lot of water down the Namoi River, which is just hitting Walgett now with flooding at 11.6 meters.

“The Castlereagh has peaked at about 4.9 meters so there are no real worries there,” he said.

SES Communications Officer David Rankine warned people to keep up to date with what was happening on the roads, especially as the next front moved across the region.

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