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Narrabri Floods of December 2004

On the night of 9 December 2004 the Narrabri area received up to 200mm of rainfall. Steady rain was falling around bed time but I think everyone was surprised to wake up to an instant flood! The forecast for the evening had been "possible thunderstorms". The rain, which moved in from around from the Gulf of Carpentaria, also caused extensive flooding in parts of Queensland.

The following day MAX FM carried news that up to 200mm of rain had been recorded overnight on properties to the South of town. 160mm was recorded at Culgoora, Narrabri West and the Bowling Club. 140mm was recorded at Myall Vale.

This rare downpour caused extensive flash flooding in the creeks that drain the Pilliga Forest, such as Bohena Creek. The Yarrie Lake road was completely washed out at Nuable Creek by the afternoon of the 10th. Narrabri West was flooded to the worst levels in living memory by water coming down Long Gully creek near Cargil. Of course the rain wasn't confined to the scrub, all creeks in the Narrabri area were pretty-well flooded on the 10th!

Panorama of the floodwater taken from the big bridge. By John Giovannis.
Panorama of debris piling up against the low-level bridge. By John Giovannis.

Nuable creek on the Yarrie Lake Road. There was too much water for the culverts under the road to manage. The creek backed up until it started flowing across the road. Within a few hours it had washed out the sandy road-base, leaving the crossing impassable. Photo by Derek Aboltins. Nuable creek on the Yarrie Lake Road. Photo by David Brodrick.
Nuable creek on the Yarrie Lake Road. Notice how large sheets of bitumen are still there but all of the road-base is gone from under it! Photo by David Brodrick. A raging torrent of water descends from Mt Kaputar down Bullawa Creek. Taken at the Eulah Creek Rd turnoff. Photo by David Brodrick.
Camping grounds at Yarrie Lake underwater. Photo by Andrew John. Camping grounds at Yarrie Lake underwater. Photo by Andrew John. Andrew contributed "Once the Lake reached this level the Wee Waa entry road on the hall side of the lake was a 3ft deep discharge river".
Flood waters rising near the railway bridge. Photo by Rose Roche. Movie!
32 second AVI (4MB) by Norman Webster.
The flood water completely washed out the concrete causeway on Bullawa Ck. "They" say that Bullawa Ck is one of the fastest flowing creeks in NSW.
Taken on Railway St(?) near the railway crossing close to Cargil. The railway line was badly washed out near the creek here. Photo by Tony Cox. Day's like this you wish you had a boat instead. Looking up Moolobar St from the Cargil end. Photo by Tony Cox.