The Tumut River is expected to rise to about 2.4m this afternoon as releases from Blowering Dam increase.
The river height’s peak had so far been about 2.2m, which was similar to last week’s flooding event.
Water this morning was beginning to seep over lower areas of Tumut Plains and there’s some water over Tumut Plains Road, near Malone’s.
Tumut Plains Road has subsequently been closed.
Water has also collected on the lower part of River Street in Tumut and the ducks and geese have once more reclaimed much of Pioneer Park, which is now largely submerged.
Elm Drive has been closed, as has the Tumut Wetlands area and the River Walk, between the Riverglade Caravan park and Tumut Turf Club. Water is lying over the walkways, and the dangerous velocity of the Tumut River means there’s a risk of erosion near the tracks.
A flood evacuation warning is in place for the Riverglade Caravan Park, low-lying areas in Elm Drive and River Street, and low-lying properties on Tumut Plains.
SES Incident Controller Jon Gregory emphasised it was a warning, not an evacuation order.
The SES has been busy strategically placing sandbags at the park, which is host to a caravanning convention and is also accommodating a large number of guests for a wedding.
Mr Gregory is confident the park won’t be impacted by the rising river today.
“We’re doing our best to minimise the impact,” he said. “With the Visy shutdown on, there’s no other accommodation for those people to go to.”
Mr Gregory said the flooding was necessary to create airspace in Blowering Dam, and the Snowy Hydro dams further up in the catchment, as run-off from recent rains in the high country continue to flow into the storages.
“Rainfall in the high country is starting to catch up with us, flowing into Snowy Hydro dams and into Blowering,” Mr Gregory said.
“I have to praise Water NSW for the role they’ve played in managing flows out of Burrinjuck and Blowering to mitigate flooding further downstream.
“We’re now seeing some nuisance flooding in the Tumut area and around Tumut Plains, but it’s better we take a bit of a hit now than risk another major flooding event such as 2012.”
One property on Tumut Plains Road has been sandbagged.
The SES will continue to assess the situation as the river rises to its expected peak of 2.4m.
Water coming into Blowering Dam continues to exceed flows going out, and Blowering is spilling as a result.
Blowering is taking in water at a rate of more than 20,000 megalitres a day, as Snowy Hydro lets water out of Talbingo Dam, via Jounama.
From today, Water NSW will release water from Blowering at a rate of 16,000 megalitres a day, up from 12,000 megalitres a day on Friday.
The Tumut River was at 2.23m at 9.50am.
Mr Gregory urged people to stay out of flood-water, noting children had been seen playing in a flooded Pioneer Park.
The SES has been assisted by Fire and Rescue, the RFS and local police, as Tumut’s emergency services once more come together to help keep the community safe.
Anyone who needs assistance in moving stock or plant to higher ground should contact the SES on 132 500.