Peak brings relief to frustrated community

The predicted major flood peaked at 10.55 metres on Thursday evening, bringing relief to the Forbes community.

The announcement of the flood peak was made by the Bureau of Meteorology at 10.31am on Friday morning, signalling the worst of the flood was finally over.

Forbes residents have been on flood alert for over a week, with the first SES flood watch notifications rolling out on Wednesday last week.

The 10.55 metre reading was 10 centimetre short of the predicted peak and only nine centimetres short of the 10.64 metre peak in August 1990.

News of the eventual peak was welcomed by Forbes SES Deputy Controller Jordon L’Estrange.

“Any peak below what they predicted is a good peak.

“[I am] very pleased with the peak. That was good,” he said.

“All the figures upstream of us predicted figures for the 1990 flood but it was only that it pushed south that we missed it.”

Mr L’Estrange said changes to the topography of the land east of Forbes helped push a greater than expected volume of water to the south.

“All the gauge readings east of us were higher than the 1990 floods but we went lower. Somewhere between Nanami and here we have pushed water south,” Mr L’Estrange said.

Although more floodwater travelled south than expected, Mr L’Estrange said the water will still end up back in the river system.

Yesterday’s confirmation of the flood peak marked the end of an almost marathon flood for Forbes residents, with initial reports starting on February 28.

Initial reports warned the flood would peak on Tuesday and were later revised to say Wednesday.

The slow progress of the flood down the Lachlan saw the peak prediction pushed back to Thursday.

Since February 28 the Forbes SES responded to 231 Requests For Assistance, five of which were classified as flood rescues.

It is estimated between 150 and 200 residents joined SES volunteers in making sandbags at the Forbes depot over the last 10 days.

A further 150 SES, Rural Fire Service and Fire and Rescue volunteers were on the ground in Forbes on Thursday with support from Forbes Shire Council.

Sandbags not being used and unlikely to get wet were being collected by SES volunteers yesterday and are set to be sent to Bedgerabong and Condobolin.

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