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Farmers welcome soaking rains across South East after dry winter

Alex Rea28 July 2020
Moruya River

The swollen Moruya River after receiving more than 200 mm of rain. Photo: Alex Rea.

Heavy rainfall over the past 24 hours has at last penetrated inland to areas across the South East that were almost back in drought, bringing welcome relief to farmers and graziers.

Although wild weather has wreaked some havoc along the coast, the heavy falls will sustain Monaro and Tablelands producers who had been facing an increasingly dry winter.

About 60 mm has fallen at Braidwood since Sunday but areas closer to the coast received closer to 150 to 200 mm. Some areas around Reidsdale and Araluen have recorded 200 mm.

“This will give us a good start to spring. It’s the first time in a number of years that we’ve had late winter rain,” said Richard Walker from Nutrien Ag Braidwood.

“It will keep the cattle market in the South East buoyant and all the cereal crops will be getting a good drink.”

Malabar Weir

Flood debris at Malabar Weir, Moruya. Photo: Alex Rea.

The Cooma district received a more modest 30 to 60 mm.

Miles Buchanan at Nutrien Ag’s Cooma office echoed the sentiments of many in the region: “we really, really needed this”.

“We’re probably the driest pocket of the State and this is a saving grace without a doubt. We had similar rain a week ago and this is good follow up. The local dams and tanks have been dry, but this second lot of rain has just starting to produce runoff,” he said.

Farringdon River Crossing of the Shoalhaven. Photo: Jeremy Zink.

The Shoalhaven River was up 2.78 metres at Warri, and the Mongarlowe River at Monga was up 1.98 metres.

The Deua/Moruya River was at 2.25 metres at Araluen (Neringla) and 6.2 metres at Riverview where the Kiora Bridge was closed.

The Tuross River at Eurobodalla was at 5.8 metres, Cooma Creek at 0.9 metres and the Bega River 2.5 metres.

Several lakes from Bega up the coast to Durras have been opened to prevent flooding.

There have been multiple road and bridge closures and a small landslip on the Clyde Mountain near Pooh Corner closed the road for some time yesterday afternoon.

Over 5500 properties were without power in the Batemans Bay District last night as strong winds lashed the coast.

Batemans Bay SES reported that due to the current weather situation they were experiencing a high volume of jobs coming through, requesting patience from callers in case resources needed to be diverted to flood rescues.

Araluen Road, Moruya River

Road closed at Kiora on Araluen Road, Moruya River. Photo: Alex Rea.

Weatherzone reported powerful winds producing large and dangerous waves along the coastal fringe and offshore waters.

“A waverider buoy near Batemans Bay was recording maximum wave heights over nine metres on Monday morning, with waves still increasing,” according to Weatherzone. “Large and damaging surf will continue along the southern half of the NSW coast on Monday.”

While conditions will ease today, large surf will continue for a few days.

For highway updates, visit Live Traffic or call 131 700 for updates or to report traffic incidents.

For State Emergency Service (SES) assistance, phone 132 500.

Moruya River at the Boat Ramp

The rising Moruya River at the Boat Ramp. Photo: Alex Rea.

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