All NSW Councils receive advice from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) and the State Emergency Service (being the lead combat agency for flood). Yesterday Council received advice from BOM and the SES that the predicted height for Wentworth is currently 33.3m AHD which is equivalent to the 1993 flood level. It is also predicted that the peak will be slow moving and not arrive in Wentworth until approximately late November.
Council is one of the agencies in the Local Emergency Management Committee (LEMC) which in an emergency situation will support the lead combat agency ie in a flood, the SES. Currently the Emergency Operations Centre has not been activated and the LEMC is instead meeting weekly. As the flood peak gets closer there will be more accuracy in predictions.
Roads are being closed as required and information on which roads are closed can be found on Councils website under the Road Conditions tab, click on this and then you will see the following:
Monitoring of already impacted roads and potential affected roads is continuing on a regular basis.
Storm water drains have been blocked and Council has pumps in place to pump storm water over the levee in rainfall events. This has already occurred with this week’s rain. Levee banks have been inspected and continual monitoring is occurring.
Sewer is also under control.
The wall that can be put in place at the Wentworth Wharf is ready however, with the current predicted height it would not be required. Should the BOM prediction change everything is in readiness for the wall to be installed.
Sandbags are an SES responsibility if you require assistance please phone 132 500. At this stage residents will be able to pick up sand bags up at the SES Depot at 49 Armstrong Avenue. Should the need arise Council will set up sand stockpiles for sandbagging.
NSW SES – https://www.hazardwatch.gov.au/
Bureau of Meteorology – http://www.bom.gov.au/nsw/warnings/flood/murrayriver.shtml
Frequently Asked Questions
Q – What is the predicted flood level at Wentworth?
A – The Bureau of Meteorology has predicted the flood level at Wentworth will peak at 33.3 metres AHD in early December. This prediction includes Darling River flows
Q – How accurate is this?
A – It is a BOM prediction based on historic flood events with current known flows further upstream in the Murray River.
Q – When will the prediction become the known fact?
A – When the peak of the flood event has reached Boundary Bend. There are no more tributaries after Boundary Bend entering the Murray River before Wentworth.
Q – If that is the case how much time does that give Council and the community to be prepared?
A – An estimated time of 11 Days (this is to Mildura/Gol Gol add a further 2 days to Wentworth)
Q – How is Council kept informed?
A – Council is part of the Local Emergency Management Committee which is currently meeting weekly. This committee consists of the following agencies:
NSW Police, VIC Police, State Emergency Service (Wentworth & Balranald) , Fire & Rescue, Rural Fire Service, NSW Ambulance, Far West Local Health District, Essential Energy, National Emergency Management Agency, Department of Primary Industry, Local Land Services, Department of Aboriginal Affairs, Resilience NSW, National Parks & Wildlife Service, Transport for NSW, Dareton Local Aboriginal Land Council, Balranald Local Aboriginal Land Council, Maari Ma, Family and Community Services, Balranald Council, Mildura Rural City Council & Wentworth Council.
Q – Are weekly meetings enough?
A – The meetings are held weekly but updates are received daily from the Bureau of Meteorology and or the State Emergency Service. Additionally, regular information is shared between the Police and Council.
Q – How does this compare with other known flood events for Wentworth.
A – The predicted level is very similar to the event of 1993 (140,000 ML/d). For further reference the height of the 1956 event was 34.56 metres (350,000 ML/d) and the 1974 event 33.83 metres (190,000ML/d).
Q – What is the height of the levee bank around Wentworth?
A – The levee bank is constructed to protect the town for a 1956 flood event with an additional flood buffer (free board) of 900mm.
Q – At that predicted level does the infill panel levee wall need to be installed along Wharf Reserve and other locations?
A – No – The infill panels are mainly to provide the fee board as does the top 900mm of the earthen levee protecting the town.
Q – If that wall was required, are Council able to assemble it.
A – The wall is stored in the flood shed in the Armstrong Avenue Depot. The wall is maintained and operated in accordance with the “Wentworth Shire Council Flood Protection Levees – Operation and Maintenance Manual”.
Q – Can flood water enter the town through the stormwater drains?
A – No – flap valves on the Cross Drainage Structures have been closed and secured either by sandbags or airbags.
Q – If the stormwater drains are blocked and it rains how does the water get into the River?
A – Council has 8 active pumps with 3 on standby. These have already been in use during the rain event last Monday.
Q – Does Council have sand bags?
A – A supply of sand bags is held by Council. SES also have a supply of bags with more on order. Additionally, 1500 filled sand bags will arrive into area next week.
Q – Will the water and sewer services of Council be maintained?
A – As long as the electricity is uninterrupted then Councils ability to produce drinking water and dispose of the sewage will remain.