• Tony Bosworth

RIVER WATCH - Hawkesbury River swollen as Warragamba Dam continues to spill – no flood warnings

Warragamba Dam is still at 100% full today and has seen an increase of 3.2% this past week as rain water continues to flow in, so it continues to spill water, ultimately into the Hawkesbury River which we’re seeing this afternoon at Windsor as part of the wharf sits underwater.

We should stress that the Hawkesbury is tidal so it falls and rises, and there are no flood alerts currently, but it’s the highest we’ve seen the river for a while. The water is covering the new Windsor Bridge’s plinths – usually they’re out of the water - as well as part of the wharf.

The minor flood level for Windsor is a river height of 5.80m and we’re nowhere near that with a 12.45pm reading of 1.25m at the Windsor PWD gauge, so breathe easy.

Photographer and Windsor chronicler Paul Caleo just sent us these pictures which show where the water level sat at just after 1pm.

Normally, Windsor Bridge's support plinths are above water...Pic - Paul Caleo

On Sunday, WaterNSW – who manage Warragamba Dam – told us they had what they called “a minor spill at midnight” as water started to “to trickle over the drum gate”.

The drum gate is the central one of five and opens automatically to allow water to escape, as it did from 4.30am on Sunday. It’s been spilling since then and was open at 23% and discharging water at approximately 12 giga-litres (GL) per day. A giga-litre is a million litres.

That water is continuing to flow into the Hawkesbury and will until the water level in the dam gets down to around 98%, which unless there’s more rain in the catchment means it should slow down later this week.

We’ve also just had a look at local water levels (info from Bureau of Meteorology) – and again remember we’re talking tidal here, so a bit of ebb and flow to be expected and all below even minor flood level at the moment.

Picture - Paul Caleo - Windsor Wharf at 1.15pm today, partially submerged

Sackville – falling

Windsor – steady

North Richmond – rising

Freemans Reach – rising

Ebenezer – falling

Lower Portland – falling

St Albans – steady

Gunderman Caravan Park – falling

Spencer – falling

Upper Colo – steady

Grose Wold, Burralow - steady

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