Big wet in New South Wales

Ariel view of Wagga Wagga in flood earlier 2012

Wagga Wagga in flood earlier 2012 (picture courtesy of NSW SES)

Twelve hundred flood warnings and watches, 2350 flood predictions and more than 6500 property evacuation orders: these are some of the staggering numbers from the widespread flooding in New South Wales since November 2011.

Gordon McKay, the Bureau's Regional Hydrology Manager for New South Wales, praised his team saying that flood watches were issued several days ahead of flood-producing rain for all moderate to major floods in the State. Predicting flood levels is not easy and we are very conscious of the impact on communities and businesses, he said.

We were pleased that 80 per cent of all the flood predictions were within 0.3 metres of the recorded level, Gordon continued. He also noted that the excellent interaction between the State's water and emergency management agencies and the Bureau assisted the planning and management of the flood events.

Major flooding occurred in all western flowing rivers of New South Wales except for the Murray, which had minor flooding. Riverine flooding was the highest for over 20 years in several catchments, and floods at Moree and Wagga Wagga were the highest since the 1970s. Record flooding was experienced along a number of creeks between Wagga Wagga and Albury, and along Mirrool Creek which flooded parts of Griffith.