Flood warning for Menindee
Saturday, 17th December, 2011
Menindee residents are being told to prepare for flooding in the New Year as daily releases from the lakes scheme are being dramatically increased to make room for floodwaters.
NSW Water Commissioner, David Harriss, said the releases would allow the lakes to store inflows and reduce the potential for flooding in the Menindee area.
But he warned that with wet catchments, the lakes near full and high rainfall forecast in the Northern Basin, the chance of floods on the Darling River was high.
It is less than 12 months since a number of Menindee properties were inundated or cut off by floods.
Daily releases from Menindee were to increase to 9000 megalitres per day by tomorrow, and yesterday the NSW Office of Water said this would rise to 16,000 ML a day by December 24.
Releases from Lake Cawndilla to the Great Darling Anabranch will begin at 250 ML per day this weekend and rise to 1,800 ML a day by December 24.
At 16,000 megalitres per day in the Lower Darling, flows will pass naturally into the Great Darling Anabranch.
Flows further downstream will continue to rise and will reach about 12,000 ML per day or 5.65m in gauge height at Burtundy early next month.
The Officer of Water said landholders with stock, and river users with pumps, should take account of the changed flow rates along the Lower Darling and Anabranch and make adjustments to their operations.
Campers also need to be aware of the potential for rapidly rising river levels as areas of the floodplain and creeks will start to be inundated between Christmas and New Year.
More information will be provided by the Office of Water before Christmas.