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A sight for dry eyes

Tuesday, 5th November, 2019

Drone photos captured by Ben and Shelby-Rae Mannion of their Oakvale Station, near White Cliffs, after the downpour on Sunday. PICTURE: Supplied Drone photos captured by Ben and Shelby-Rae Mannion of their Oakvale Station, near White Cliffs, after the downpour on Sunday. PICTURE: Supplied

By Emily McInerney

Everyone in the Far West is smiling after the weekend’s rain, the best in almost 12 months.

Broken Hill received 16 millimetres and Cobar was still getting rain on Sunday that pushed their total up to 40mm - the highest rainfall in one day since April.

Tibooburra got 11mm, the most to fall in a single day since May. 

“It was really patchy around Tibooburra,” said Tracy Hotchin who owns the Tibooburra Hotel.

“My husband and I own Gumvale Station and we received 25mm there,” Ms Hotchin said.

“It filled up our dams.”

She said Thompson’s Creek, which provides the town’s water supply, was also filled. 

“We are grateful for what we’ve got but some places missed out.”

West Mooculta Station, near Bourke, received 84mm and was still counting.

But Charlton Station, south of Brewarrina, recorded 107mm.

According to reports, the Bogan River was completely dry in the morning and was full by the evening.

Between Cobar and Ivanhoe, 47.5 mm was recorded. Tilpa received 50mm and Bourke  copped a very nice 90mm.

Central Darling Shire’s General Manager, Greg Hill, said it had been a big weekend in the district.

“We received 25mm at Wilcannia - it’s been excellent,” said Mr Hill.

“I think people were just sitting at home watching the rain fall.

“We can’t really get around due to our unsealed roads, all the roads are closed except for Pooncarie.

“A few people were out around town to see all the water laying around.”

Mr Hill said maintenance crews will start grading the roads soon.

“All the dams are full at White Cliffs, which will give them 10 to 12 months supply of water,” he said.

“Wilcannia gets its water from the weir pool which relies on the river flow.”

He warned motorists to be aware of the road closures and to not attempt to drive on any closed roads.

Ben and Shelby-Rae Mannion, of Oakvale Station, 40 kilometres north-west of White Cliffs, said they enjoyed a big downpour, and rushed out to get some photos after the rain on Sunday.

“We took these photos straight after we had 43 millimetres on Sunday,” Shelby said. “We had 75 millimetres over the weekend.

“We are over the moon.”

Nicole Elliot, manager of the White Cliffs Hotel, said they were all extremely happy with the rain.

“We greatly appreciate it,” she said. “We needed it so much, it filled all the creeks behind the hotel.

“It went into the town’s recreational tank which the town uses and the rest will go to the Paroo floodplains.

“The floodplains have been dry for so long, hopefully it will bring back wildlife and birdlife.

“Everyone was out and about looking everywhere during the rain.

“There is a lot of happy people around.”

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