Still flooded: focus on Bedgerabong with Lachlan at major flood level

A second flood peak has passed Forbes, and water is sprawling across the floodplain downstream.

The Lachlan River peaked at 10.01m at the Iron Bridge on Monday afternoon, with another round of moderate flooding, and the water level hasn't fallen below the major flood level in the Jemalong Weir area.

Local SES controller Roc Walshaw says the organisation remains focussed on ensuring essential supplies and emergency assistance are available those who have been cut off from town.

"(The water) will be there for a while," he advises.

Those who can get to Bedgerabong itself can still get to Condobolin (at time of writing) but many rural roads surrounding Bedgerabong are under water.

Bedgerabong farmer Scott Darcy, who had the opportunity to speak with Premier Dominic Perrottet, Deputy Premier Paul Toole and Emergency Services Minister David Elliott about the impact of flooding when they visited two weeks ago, is one of those now isolated on his property with his family.

They've just got their eldest son Sean home - thanks to the SES helicopter - after completing his HSC. Crucial supplies and machinery parts were also flown in with him.

When Scott met with the Premier he was hoping not to see a repeat of 2016 flooding, but there was nothing he could do to stop the water rising in the days that followed.

It's tough, he explains, financially and mentally too close to the losses of 2016 but also because this flood has hit at lambing time, and when crops and pastures were looking so incredibly promising.

Wet conditions and lack of flood-free ground are causing complications for the Dorper flock, and Scott's working flat out to care for them.

H'es preparing to harvest what he can, but that too is complicated because the header mechanic can't just pop out from town.

In 2016 the family was isolated for eight weeks, with one window where they got into town for Sean's birthday. They harvested 30 of 400 hectares.

Again paddocks of canola, oats and wheat and barley are inundated, and of 30 hectares of knee-high lucerne only an area the size of a couple of box trailers is not submerged.

"We have got to keep going, but it's frustrating," Scott says.

"I just hope they get the (Wyangala) dam wall sorted. It's costing everyone."

It wouldn't hurt to "have a good hard look" at the disaster assistance too, he adds, finding the processes complex and eligibility criteria prohibitive.

WAITING GAME

Anne Earney and her family have been "on their island" since December 20, and it's uncertain when roads will open and they'll be able to get back to town.

"Now we wait," is how Anne sums it up.

The flooded river cuts access from one direction, and storms such as Parkes saw last Friday night send water down the Goobang Creek impacting other roads.

Like many others in the region, their focus is on getting on to paddocks to harvest crops as soon as it's dry enough.

Getting grain off the paddock - and off the farm - will be another matter entirely. They did make a start but it was a real exercise in logistics keeping the header and chaser bin going - and there's no way trucks can gain access.

Melissa Brown says they'll be facing the same challenge: the timing of this flood and the ongoing wet conditions presenting yet another unique situation.

They've got some crop and stock on higher ground, with access by boat while the water remains high.

"We're just waiting for paddocks and crops to dry out enough to get onto it a bit more," she said, the logistics of then getting that grain out yet to be navigated.

The logistics of getting students and teachers to the local school have also been challenging, and Melissa has been impressed by the commitment shown by all to make it happen.

  • For updated information on road closures go to the Forbes Shire Council website and Live Traffic (major roads only).
  • If you need essential supplies, contact the SES on 132500 to get a beacon number before contacting your supplier to arrange drop-off.