Aberdeen is situated on the Eastern Bank of the Hunter River and is the third largest town of the Upper Hunter, it is located near the junction for six river systems being the Hunter River, Pages River, The Dartbrook, Middlebrook, Kingdon Ponds and Rouchel Brook inflows. Flooding can occur due to individual tributaries or collectively through combinations. The catchment area is predominately occupied by farmland and semi-natural forests with towns comprising a small percentage of the catchment area
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The town of Aberdeen is located immediately downstream of the confluence of the Hunter and Pages River(s) and can be isolated completely by road during major floods, with both sides of the New England Highway being cut. The largest floods within Aberdeen were recorded in 1955 and 1971, with the latter reaching 10.2m at the Aberdeen Gauge, whilst the 1955 reached approximately 10.4m. Most recently, significant floods occurred in 1992 and 1996.
To understand what happens in a Aberdeen flood, it is important that all residents and businesses know:
The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) reads and refers to the Aberdeen Gauge (210056).
Merriwa is located at the Western Extremity of the Upper Hunter District beside the Merriwa River. Cassilis is a small, historic village lying between Merriwa and Dunedoo, it spreads out on land beside the Munmurra River.
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Flooding in Merriwa can occur from the Merriwa River and its tributary, Whitneys Creek. Flows from Whitney’s creek are fast, though areas near the Merriwa River experience backwater inundation.
Flooding in Cassilis can occur from the Munmurra River and two-mile creek that runs along the edge of the town. This can lead to the isolation of the town for several hours in severe events.
Historically, Merriwa has experienced four major floods, the most recent of which in February 1955, which led to the inundation of low-lying recreation parks, residences, businesses and the caravan park. Proceeding this, Merriwa Bridge was replaced with a higher bridge which contributed to debris being caught.
The area has also experienced flash flood as occurred in February 2007, A wall of water travelled down Killoe Creek just west of Merriwa, without any appreciable forewarning, crossing the Ringwood Road causeway. The rainfall from the storm was greater than a l-in-100-year event for a 30-minute duration.
To understand what happens in a riverine flood, it is important that all residents and businesses know:
The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) reads and refers to the Merriwa (210091) and Vallences Creek (210066) gauges. There are no gauges at Cassilis.
Currently there is no warning system on either gauge.
Cassilis - Water lapping at front doors (photo by Sandy Tito)
The Murrurundi sector comprises the townships of Murrurundi, Blandford and Willow Tree, with a population of approximately 2,000. Murrurundi and Blandford are located on the New England Highway in the catchment of the Pages River, with the catchments’ source near the Eastern End of the Liverpool Range before adjoining the Hunter River, several kilometers upstream of Aberdeen. Willow Tree’s catchment is Borambil Creek on the Northern Slope of the Liverpool Range in the Namoi River Basin.
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Most flooding occurring in Murrurundi has been flash-flooding with warning times typically being rather short. Severe flooding most recently occurred in 1996 and most often, inundation of the backyards of residential properties fronting the Paige River will occur in relatively minor events. Damages to residential properties can commence in an event where the Right Bank of the river at Adelaide Street, is breached.
In the 1976 flood, Murrurundi experienced prolonged flooding, which resulted from 250-300mm of rainfall falling within a four-day period. Within Blandford, surcharging of the right bank of Warlands Creek can occur. The worst recorded floods in the town of Murrurundi occurred in 1949, 1955, 1971, 1976 and 1996.
To understand what happens in a Murrurundi flood, it is important that all residents and businesses know:
The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) reads and refers to the Blandford gauge (210061) and the manual gauge at Arnolds Bridge (on the New England Highway) is monitored locally.
Scone is located on the common floodplain of the Kingdon Ponds, Middlebrook, Dart Brook, Parsons Gully and Figtree creek. Scone can experience inundation on its Eastern and Western sides. The Liverpool Road which crosses the three catchments has inadequate culverts and acts as an embankment. There is the possibility that the bypass through Scone, which bisects the flood sources, isolating the Western (Kingdon ponds/Middlebrook and Parsons Gully from the collection on the Eastern side could converge causing more significant inundation.
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The largest floods in Scone occurred in 1955, 1971 and 1976. The 1955 Event has been estimated as a 1 in 100 chance of occurring per year. Further significant flooding occurred in February 1992. Due to developments and the construction of the Scone bypass, the chance exists for a severe event to render Scone completely isolated by road.
The largest floods recorded at Scone occurred in 1955, 1971 and 1976. Of these, the 1955 flood is estimated to have been an event of a magnitude which would occur on average, only once in about 100 years. Such a flood has roughly a 1% chance of occurring in any one year. The 1971 and 1976 floods have roughly a 2 - 4% chance of occurring in any year. The most recent significant flood occurred in December 2021. This flood caused over 77 homes to be evacuated and communities to be isolated.
To understand what happens in a Scone flood, it is important that all residents and businesses know:
The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) reads and refers to the Scone Gauge (210904).