Photographs capture extent of flooding in northwest New South Wales after days of heavy rain


Downpours that swept across northwestern New South Wales this week in falls measuring hundreds of millimeters sent floodwaters across the saturated plains, cutting towns and submerging crops.

The Namoi River in Gunnedah swelled to 7.84 meters, flowing into backyards and damaging businesses.

Residents paddled the floodwaters in canoes to shop, while the SES delivered milk and bread to others stuck inside.

Gunnedah received nearly 150mm of rain last week. (Amy burling)
Cars driving around a roundabout with brown lapping around the edges.
The Bureau of Meteorology predicted that major flooding in the city would be likely this weekend.(Amy burling)
The road is swallowed up by brown floodwaters
Residents called the flooding one of the worst in recent years.(Amy burling)

Farmers are frustrated by the downgrading of price crops, with wheat and cotton under floodwater.

But, despite the devastation, most are philosophical and look on the bright side: the ground will soak up water, the dams will drain, and they live in floodplains. What not to expect?

Flood water across a large plain with trees
The Namoi peaked at Gunnedah at 8.25 meters early Wednesday, but the BoM says further hikes are likely.(Amy burling)
A car drives on the highway over floodwaters
The Kamilaroi road between Gunnedah and Boggabri was flooded by the Namoi.(Amy burling)
The river floods across the plains and under the bridge
The SES has carried out several rescues of cars stuck in the flood waters.(Amy burling)

Boggabri

The Namoi flows downstream to the smaller Boggabri and has flooded the city’s main artery, the Kamilaroi Highway.

The river was 8.31 meters today and the adjacent Coxs Creek 8.24 meters, but the Bureau of Meteorology expected those levels to rise over the weekend.

A sign telling cars not to drive in flood waters, with a flooded car behind it.
A submerged car on the closed Grain Valley road southwest of Boggabri.(André Prince)
Brown floodwaters pour into the plains.
The Bureau of Meteorology says it expects further increases along Namoi and Coxs creeks as water flows downstream from Gunnedah.(André Prince)
A car and a boat on the shore of the brown flood waters.
A local SES team perched by the floodwaters in Boggabri.(André Prince)
The highways are inundated by the brown waters of the rivers.
Mining roads submerged by flood water just north of Boggabri.(André Prince)
Rain falling from clouds across cultivated fields.
The Namoi peaked in Boggabri at 7.98 meters on Thursday morning.(André Prince)
A sign is flooded with brown water.
Coxs Creek adjoins the Namoi at Boggabri and continues to rise. (André Prince)

Little Waa

The Namoi then flows northwest through Narrabri and up to Wee Waa. The small cotton town is surrounded by a dike, protecting the region from rising waters.

On Thursday, residents flocked to the city’s only supermarket to stock up on pasta and canned goods. But now the locals say it’s pretty quiet. They are used to the comings and goings of water.

The busiest time of the day is in the morning and evening, when everyone is driving to check the flood levels, which have now reached 7.30 meters.

The city is now surrounded by water and the Bureau of Meteorology predicts it will remain above the major flood level for next week.

A speed sign is inundated with brown water.
Wee Waa is protected by a dike that surrounds the city.(John burgess)
Brown puddles in floodplains.
Pooling the Namoi across the plains outside the dike at Wee Waa.(Ben schwager)
A man with golf clubs stands in front of the flood waters.
Wee Waa Chamber of Commerce President John Tully on the flooded golf course.(John burgess)
Brown floodwaters inundate the plains and the roads.
The floodwaters cut off the main roads out of town.(Ben schwager)
A flood sign with flood waters.
A flooded flood sign along Pilliga Road heading west from Wee Waa.(John burgess)


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