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Far West wild one

Friday, 1st February, 2019

By Callum Marshall

Broken Hill and the surrounding region was treated to some wild weather Wednesday afternoon and night as heavy winds, lightning and rain battered the Far West.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, wind gusts in Broken Hill reached a high of 74km/h on Wednesday night, and 78 k/h in Wilcannia.

Despite the fierce weather coming through town, Broken Hill SES’ Darren Larkin said that, outside of some damage to radio stations, there hadn’t been any significant callouts they had to deal with.

He welcomed the rain that passed through the area though, with the South experiencing much of the storm’s force.

“I measured about 10 millimetres of rain water at home this morning,” he said.

“Somebody was saying they got about 20mm out in the South. 

“There seemed a lot more water running in the streets and coming down in the South (as opposed to the rest of the town.)”

One area that got some good rain was Dolo Creek, just out of Wilcannia, with the creek flowing with water.

Silverton Photography’s Helen Murray said more than 12 millimetres of rainfall came down there. 

“The wind actually blew our rain gauge to pieces, but I heard the neighbours say that he got 12-and-a-half millimetres,” she said.

“The creek ran pretty high on Wednesday night as well, it would’ve been a good cou ple of metres deep and quite wide.”

She also caught the spectacular sight of two different dust storms rolling across the landscape.

“The dust storm rolled in about 8pm. I was watching the sky, which was looking a bit pink with some big black clouds, hoping we’d get some rain,” she said.

“Next thing, my husband turned around and said ‘come and have a look out here’ and there was this black dust storm rolling on Mundi Mundi plains and heading towards Broken Hill.

“So I hopped in the car, drove up the road and got as far as the corner near Penrose Park, when I realised there was another dust storm going in the opposite direction and heading towards Belmont Station, towards the hills where the windfarm is. 

“So I pulled up, got out of the car and started taking photos of these two dust storms heading in different directions.”

Essential Water’s Head of Water Operations John Coffey said the rain had contributed minor intakes into the reservoirs.

“A storm event in the Broken Hill area on Wednesday night resulted in welcome, minor intakes into Essential Water’s reservoirs,” he said.

“Approximately 400 megalitres entered the reservoirs.

“In comparison, this storm produced 40 per cent of the intake recorded in November last year (during the storm then.)”

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