Date: 2021-09-28 05:00:22
The Edward River is no longer rising by up to 10mm a day, as floodwaters start to steady.
At the time of going to print yesterday the river was holding steady below minor flood level, at 3.76m.
But the Bureau of Meteorology is predicting significant rain next week, which has prompted the Murray-Darling Basin Authority to increase the amount of water it is releasing from Hume Dam.
With the intention of creating ‘‘airspace’’, the MDBA acting chief executive Andrew Reynolds announced on Friday that releases would be stepped up ahead of what is expected to be ‘‘a sustained wet-weather event spanning several days’’ from next Wednesday.
‘‘These airspace releases are expected to remain in-channel over the weekend, however, this is subject to change as information about this weather system improves and our river operators make adjustments accordingly,” Mr Reynolds said.
Above-average rainfall is expected in the upper Murray catchment in late September and October and there is an increased chance of flooding, particularly on the floodplains between Hume Dam and Yarrawonga Weir.
The MDBA is working closely with the Bureau of Meteorology, WaterNSW and the NSW and Victorian State Emergency Services to provide flood preparedness safety messages.
Mr Reynolds said the basin authority’s aim was to share important information with people who either live, work or holiday on a floodplain.
‘‘There are some things people need to know about when it comes to being prepared for potential floods,’’ Mr Reynolds said.
‘‘There are three things you can do to be prepared.
‘‘The first is to develop your personalised flood emergency plan for your home and property by going to the State Emergency Service website for your state.
‘‘People should also sign up, or check their details are up to date, for WaterNSW’s Early Warning Network to be notified by SMS, email or landline about dam and supply activities during periods of flooding or high releases (www.waternsw.com.au/supply/ewn).
‘‘And, finally, check the Bureau of Meteorology to receive the latest weather information including warnings, river conditions and rainfall in your area.’’
Prior to Friday, the Edward River at Deniliquin was rising by about 10mm a day, and had reached 3.94m by Thursday last week.
It increased sightly to 3.97 by Friday, and then started to fall slightly — to 3.94 Saturday, 3.88m Sunday and 3.76m yesterday.
Minor flood level for the Edward River at Deniliquin is 4.6m.
With the river steady, there is no official SES flood warning in place for the Edward River, however the Deniliquin-Conargo SES Unit took to social media on Sunday for the first time since April.
The unit shared a timely message to ‘‘remind residents of the dangers of entering floodwaters’’.
‘‘Swimming and other water activities on the Edward River is not recommended at the moment,’’ the unit said in the post.
‘‘The river is flowing very fast and there is a lot of debris creating numerous hazards.
‘‘Call 000 in a life threatening emergency and please don’t enter floodwaters.’’
Hume Dam’s primary purpose is water security. It plays a crucial role in managing flows and securing water along the Murray River, including to Adelaide.
The MDBA operates the Hume Dam in accordance with the rules set by state governments.
When the dam fills, all floodwaters will pass through the dam and head downstream along with the water entering from the tributaries.
The Bureau of Meteorology is responsible for issuing flood warnings to the public.
Check www.bom.gov.au/australia/warnings for up-to-date flood information.
Warnings are also listed at www.ses.nsw.gov.au.