Innamincka floods update

Submitted: Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 17:50
ThreadID: 76209 Views:6483 Replies:2 FollowUps:10
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Have just spoken to Rosemary at the Innamincka Trading Post -the shop not the newspaper. The flood on the Cooper is the biggest since 1990. Thinking of crossing the causeway? Forget it as it's 8.5 metres under and still rising. All 11 souls in town are residents and have no road access. A supply truck might make it in on Friday but up till now the roads have been impassable for over two weeks.
The flood has submerged and ruined many of the new loos that were being built last May along the Cullyamurra waterhole and the other creekside campsites. Well the metal walls should be OK but they will all need pumping out.
Walkers Crossing is not likely to open this year and the Coongie Lakes track will be covered in a fresh layer of silt. And who knows if the Birdsville Track will need the flood ferry? That should make your wintertime trek up the track interesting.
Even when the local roads are re-opened they will be soft. Please stay in the one existing set of ruts so as not to damage them further.
But the 6 inches of rain they've had will green the place up so it should be quite a sight compared to 2009's dustbowl conditions. Will post some pix asap... W

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Reply By: Teraa - Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 20:40

Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 20:40
I keep getting advised to use the lake eyre yacht club web site for updates on the river system but I can tell you that approx. 90km from the lake eyre mouth on the Warburton creek is 5 - 6 m deep traveling at about 10 knots and has been for the last 7 days going on my last timming but with a bit more water it would be close to the mouth and going into the groove if we get the pulses from above you will get a push into the lake.
We need more rain from above to get it to fill though and so early in the cyclone season.
Plus we will have a push from the Muccumba end if we are lucky which we didn't have last year. Plus there wasn't much in the way of local rain not the 5- 6 inchs everyones had up here. I havn't checked yet but I would be confident on saying that the Kalakopah would be running.
And it's still raining having a great time
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Follow Up By: Member - Warrie (NSW) - Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 21:00

Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 21:00
Hi Teraa, The Warburton does not get any flow from the Cooper Ck but only the Diamantina River and the Eyre Ck. Both of these have had relatively good flows but not as much as 2009 which put enough water into Belt Bay to give a level of 1.6m. This was still too low for sailing - they needed 2m - but plenty to see from the air. Click on Halligan Bay for pix. The Wet has died in the Kimberley but is still kicking along in Qld and there could be a surge of rainfall and hence runoff in the next few weeks. This could be just wishful thinking but thats whats fun about the weather - predictions.. According to the BoM, even the massive 2000 floods on the Cooper did not reach Lake Eyre. The hydrologists are still calculating inflows, evaporation and soakage. I will add data to this site as it comes in.... W

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Follow Up By: Teraa - Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 18:31

Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 18:31
I didn't say the flow came from the Cooper it came from local rain and the Derwent and I don't think BOM can calculate this one as it's too wide spread just run off from local rain started the flow in the Warburton. I will be in a boat in the next couple of days on the Warburton so I' give you a cooee how far it has gotten. But I defintley wouldn't call it a trickle. There might also be a low forming in WA again so you never know. I think the local rain will make a difference to any of the rivers or creek flows then other years. Some of the stations on the cooper don't even have people on them so know would know what rain fall they had. I was just commenting that it's hard to get correct information from some sites. I liked how you got local info.
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Reply By: 2000 Red Rodeo - Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 21:50

Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 21:50
We are leaving home in 5 weeks time for a 6 week trip through SA Outback & NT Red Centre.

Our planned route is Broken Hill, Cameron Corner, Innamincka, Birdsville, Maree, Oodnadatta, Dalhousie Springs, Ayers Rock, Kings Canyon, McDonnel Ranges Longreach via Plenty Hwy and then head south to home (Bairnsdale Vic)

Over the last couple of weeks I have been watching most of the roads we intend to use be closed due to flooding.

Decisions, decisions.

Do we postpone the trip a couple of months?, Do we do the trip in the reverse order and hope the roads will be right by the time we get there? Not sure?

On the plus side, it will be great to see water in Lake Eyre.

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Follow Up By: ChrisK - Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 08:15

Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 08:15

We are planning a similar trip as you but won't be leaving until mid- July. We are coming from Melbourne via Wentworth, Broken Hill, Tibbooburra, Cameron Cornere, Noccundra, Dig Tree, Innaminka then home down the Stezlecki track to Arkaroola and the Flinders & stop ober in the Barossa to catch up with my brother & then home. We have 4 weeks so we hope it will all be OK by then & we'll see some green & maybe some wild flowers.

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Follow Up By: Member - Cantiva Clay (NSW) - Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 09:30

Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 09:30
Hi Red Rodeo, Warrie gave a good update - in prompted me to look further into the road reports - some of the bridges in channel country are a meter under water and more (where there are bridges!). Now if you want to see the outcome of floods go to the SA website and look for the gallery on the 2007 flood - one interesting photo is where the flood water have eaten all the soil from under the road so for a driver you would see normal water across the road but.... another is where the bridge / culvert was completely taken out but the side barriers were left hanging - I remember crossing culverts underwater following the rails thinking - oh yea its ok.....I could say more but look at the photos (different place but flood water and dirt work the same everywhere) links/jan_2007_flood_images/jan_2007_flood_images.asp Sobering isn't it? Certainly a snorkel would need to be preettty long... Either way the councils and road works crews are going to have a awful lot of clean-up to do and the focus will be on main not minor roads! If I was heading up there in the next month I would be planning 2~3 alternate routes everywhere, not get my heart to set on locations (we all know some of the best places have been found through detours) and put a lot of work into fuel planning - fuel may not be available, it may be wet or you may have a low tank at the end of a very long road with a washout. I am definitely not trying to discourage you - its a one in 20 year chance to see the country after a very unusual event, and it will be super green, I am just saying I think you need to think pretty carefully about your approach and planning. Its a shame google maps satellite doesn't up date in real time!
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Follow Up By: Pete Jackman (SA) - Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 13:36

Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 13:36
Some of those were scary, especially this one where the guard rails are stil in place but the road has gone:

Any mug can be uncomfortable out bush

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Follow Up By: Member - Brian H (QLD) - Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 13:47

Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 13:47
I have never been a fan of crossing bridges where water is over the top of and moving at any sort of speed, even if i can see the railing, basically If I cannot see the road then I am happy to wait or go back.

Looking at the that pitcure I think they need a lot of much bigger pipes to allow the water to pass.

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Follow Up By: Pete Jackman (SA) - Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 14:04

Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 14:04
Even the culvert was undermined
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 18:04

Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 18:04
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 18:10

Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 18:10
Isn't this why people buy 4wd's? Engage 4-low and continue. :)

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Follow Up By: Teraa - Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 16:36

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010 at 16:36
Nice photo you'd need wings to get over that lot bit of a surprise if it had been covered by water. Heres a update the roads up the brirdsville track are trashed no doubt council is working hard. The station near Marree got 1.5 inchs Monday with smaller falls further up the road, the road is closed with further larger falls expected this weekend. If it dries the track no doubt will get fixed but others would proably remain trashed for a while just keep your eye out for deep washouts. but won't it be great when it dries the reveg already is amazing. It is also taking longer and longer for places to dry out with the constant rain.
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