A dam photographed from above.

BOM issues major flood warning for Gundagai as SES conducts multiple rescues

Up to 90,000 megalitres are expected to start being released from Burrinjuck Dam this afternoon following heavy rain in parts of New South Wales.

The dam began spilling this morning as more than 230,000ML – a quarter of its full capacity – flowed in from the 100mm of rain that fell in various tributaries overnight.

Water NSW said in a statement that flows from the Yass River into the dam were the “highest ever recorded”.

Controlled outflows are set to continue for weeks until levels go down.

Farmers along the Murrumbidgee River at Gundagai are moving their stock to higher ground in preparation, with the possibility of the river reaching 8.5 metres this evening and 9m by Saturday morning.

No houses in the Gundagai township are expected to flood, with the local caravan park the only commercial property likely to be affected.

Low-lying areas of Gundagai have been submerged ahead of expected major flooding.(ABC Riverina: Olivia Calver)

The SES is also deploying extra crews to Temora, which recorded 60mm of rain overnight.

Creeks north of the town are rising.

“We had a band of rain that passed through Illabo and out past Cootamundra that brought, give or take, 20 to 30mm yesterday evening,” incident controller Barry Griffiths said.

“That’s stabilized overnight, but it produced 71 calls for assistance.”

Warning signs sit near a flooded road.
Many roads are closed across the Cootamundra-Gundagai Local Government Area, including Thompson Street.(Supplied: Gail Douglas)

Mr Griffiths said four rescues had been carried out.

“We have some low-lying water around the Temora area triggering some rescues for us — we had two overnight and two happening at the moment,” he said.

“It looks like people were driving and got cut off on the road.”

A swollen river beneath a cloudy sky.
The Murrumbidgee River is expected to peak at Gundagai on Saturday morning.(ABC Riverina: Olivia Calver)

Mr Griffith said warnings were in place for drivers to avoid flooded roads.

“If the road that you drive on normally does get flooding, assume that it is and drive the long way around,” he said.

The BOM is warning that moderate flooding is also possible at Wagga Wagga tomorrow afternoon.

Cows walking along road and onto grass.
Livestock is being moved to safety ahead of expected major flooding at Gundagai.(ABC Riverina: Olivia Calver)

Woman found safe in Mudgee

Further north, a woman has been found safe after her vehicle was swept into flood waters in the New South Wales Central West overnight, as other parts of the state brace for major flooding.

At 6.30pm yesterday emergency services were called to Macdonalds Creek at Erudgere, about 15 kilometers north-west of Mudgee, following reports that a vehicle had been swept into a causeway by flash floodwater.

A search and rescue operation led to the discovery of a vehicle submerged in the waterway.

A car submerged in a flooded waterway.
The female driver of this car was found safe after it was submerged near Mudgee.(Supplied)

Police were later notified a 59-year-old woman sought assistance at a nearby property in Piambong.

She has been taken to Mudgee Hospital for assessment.

A road covered in murky floodwater.
Bathurst’s Hereford Street has been rendered impassable.(Supplied: Simon Fraser)

The rescue was one of seven local SES crews responded to across the region.

Others occurred at Wellington, Gulgong, Ballimore, Coonabarabran and Coolah.

Three people in high-vis suits work to sandbag a verge at night.
The SES helped with sandbagging overnight.(Supplied: SES)

“Unfortunately, for the most part they were people who made the pretty poor decision to drive through flooded causeways and they’ve been stranded as a result,” SES spokesperson David Rankin said.

“We have seen falls of between 50 and 60mm right across areas of the Central West,” he said.

“That’s resulted in a number of rivers around here in some degree of flood over last night and into this morning.”

tombstones poking out of floodwaters,
The BOM has numerous severe weather and flood warnings in place for much of the state, including Wellington. (ABC News: Hugh Hogan)

Mr Rankin said SES crews received more than 45 calls for assistance, many of which were related to strong winds.

Crew members spent the night removing branches and trees from roofs and tarping them.

“It’s been a really busy night, thankfully the worst of the rain in the Central West has passed,” Mr Rankin said.

“But we’ve still got flooding on the Castlereagh, Bell, upper and lower Macquarie rivers, the Bogan, the Darling, the Belubula.”


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