No escape for Upper Hunter

The Upper Hunter has not been able to escape the wild weather that’s wreaking havoc along the Australian east coast.

Road closures from localised flooding and flood warnings for the Hunter River have been issued as a result of the inclement conditions.

The State Emergency Service (SES) issued a minor flood warning for the Hunter River yesterday following heavy rainfalls in the Wollombi Brook catchment on Monday.

River levels were also on the rise yesterday in the upper region on the Hunter at Singleton, Muswellbrook and Denman, and in the Goulburn River.

Bulga Peak was the greatest concern for SES personnel yesterday, which neared 3.7 metres overnight from Monday, resulting in a minor to moderate flood warning being issued.

Muswellbrook SES crews were called to Brook Street on Monday, after heavy rainfalls eroded a section of the ground leaving a deep hole between the footpath and kerb, which was later attended to by Muswellbrook Shire Council staff.

Sandbagging was required to stop potential flooding at a number of Muswellbrook homes as a result of the downpours.

Yesterday a ute driver had a lucky escape after attempting to drive through flood waters on Dartbrook Road.

The vehicle got stuck and was washed off a causeway.

A sign indicating water on the road had been placed near where the accident happened.

Muswellbrook SES controller Mark Elsley said, with water levels rising, the incident should be a warning to all motorists.

“People must be mindful that after any storm activity there will be water on the roads and they must drive accordingly,” he said.

A number of road closures were still in place yesterday, including the Golden Highway at the Mudies Creek Culvert in the Singleton Shire, and sections of Wollombi, Carrowbrook, Goorangoola and Bowmans Creek roads.

Last night Mr Elsley continued to monitor water levels in Dartbrook and Wybong creeks, along with the Merriwa and Goulburn rivers and the Hunter River at Muswellbrook and Denman.

Rainfall once in a five-year event

Weatherzone meteorologist Ben McBurney said some of the heaviest rainfalls in a 24-hour period had been recorded in the Upper Hunter this week.

“The Upper Hunter’s rain peaks in the summer months … (but) these kinds of falls are a once in a five year event,” Mr McBurney said.

From 9am Monday to 9am yesterday the weather station at Scone recorded falls of 150 millimetres, the most it has seen in a 24-hour period in more than 50 years.

Meanwhile, Scone airport caught 84 

millimetres in the gauge – the heaviest falls for a day since 2002.

From Monday morning to Tuesday parts of the Hunter region recorded rainfalls of between 50 millimetres and 120 millimetres.  

However, the rain is set to subside until Friday, when storm activity in the Upper Hunter is likely. 

“The clouds should be burnt off by this afternoon (yesterday), there are a couple of dry days coming up, maybe a few showers, and there could be storm activity on Friday bringing heavy falls and strong winds,” Mr McBurney said.

“Singleton and Scone could experience quite severe storms (Friday).”

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