Australia – 100s Evacuated as Lachlan River Overflows in New South Wales

The State Emergency Service (SES) in New South Wales, Australia, reports that over 130 homes were flooded after the Lachlan River in Forbes, central west New South Wales, overflowed on Sunday, 25 September.

The flood had been predicted after river levels started to rise. On 24 September SES issued an evacuation order for those living in low-lying areas, affecting over 200 homes.

SES Evacuation Order Map
NSW SES Evacuation Order Map for Forbes

The river peaked at 10.67 metres at the Forbes Iron Bridge during the evening of Sunday, almost exactly as forecast. SES said the peak was just a few centimetres higher than the floods of August 1990 that affected the same area.

SES said “NSW SES have received over 2,380 requests for assistance with the majority of these being for roof damage, trees down and flood related requests. There have been a total of 99 flood rescues including animal rescues and medical transports.”

Emergency accommodation at a local school has been provided for those displaced, although many have chosen to stay with friends or relatives.

Flooding in Forbes, New South Wales. Photo: NSW SES Lachlan Region
Flooding in Forbes, New South Wales. Photo: NSW SES Lachlan Region
Flooding in Forbes, New South Wales. Photo: NSW SES Lachlan Region
Flooding in Forbes, New South Wales. Photo: NSW SES Lachlan Region

Further Flooding Expected

Levels of the river in Forbes are expected to remain high for some time. The flood evacuation remains in place and those who have left their homes cannot return as yet.

Downstream on the Lachlan River, major flooding is also occurring at Cottons Weir, Jemalong and Condobolin with peaks expected over the coming week. A flood evacuation warning is current for parts of Condobolin.

SES said earlier today that further rainfall is expected later in the week on Thursday and Friday which may result in further river rises.

Several rivers remain high elsewhere in the state. The Bogan River is expected to peak today near 5.5m at Mulgawarrina, with potential major flooding. Minor to moderate flooding was also reported along the Murrumbidgee River. Carathool is expected to see minor flooding on Wednesday, with a predicted height of 7.4 metres.

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology have several flood warnings in place for other rivers in the state, including the Macintyre, Macquarie, Murray, Paroo River, Belubula and Peel and Namoi Rivers.

Flood summary

Last updated: October 6, 2016
Event
New South Wales, Australia, September 2016
Date
September 25, 2016
Type
River flood
Cause
Reservoir release, Long-term rainfall, Soil saturation

Locations

A - Forbes
B - Condobolin
C - Wagga Wagga

Magnitude

River level
10.67 metres
Lachlan River, Forbes Iron Bridge - September 25 to September 25, 2016
During the major floods of August 1990, the river stood at 10.65

Damages

Evacuated
500 people
Forbes - September 24 to September 25, 2016
Evacuated
100 people
Condobolin - October 1, 2016
Evacuated
100 people
Wagga Wagga - October 1, 2016
Missing people
1 person
Forbes - September 30, 2016