Queanbeyan and Molonglo Rivers on flood watch

Water pours over the weir in the heart of Queanbeyan on the Queanbeyan River after a torrential downpour. Photo: Gary Schafer
Water pours over the weir in the heart of Queanbeyan on the Queanbeyan River after a torrential downpour. Photo: Gary Schafer

The NSW State Emergency Service has warned Queanbeyan residents to expect extreme weather conditions on Friday and Saturday.

Warnings from the Bureau of Meteorology on Friday morning say a tropical, warm and humid airmass over New South Wales will interact with a complex low pressure system, likely leading to heavy rain and the risk of flash flooding.

The NSW SES has issued a flood warning for Queanbeyan and Molonglo Rivers.

"The heaviest falls are mostly expected to be during the latter half of the day on Friday, and throughout Saturday," the warning said.

Local flooding describes situations where heavy rainfall is expected to cause high run-off volumes in small catchments or localised areas with minimal impact on main streams.

In some areas it could lead to flash flooding.

People living or working along rivers and streams must monitor the latest weather forecasts and warnings and be ready to move to higher ground should flooding develop.

Rainfalls in excess of 100mm are likely over the 48 hour period, with localised falls in excess of 200mm possible in some parts of NSW.

It’s going to be a stormy weekend in Queanbeyan and the region as an unprecedented wet weather system moves over the state.

Despite the flood watch it is not expected the weather event will mirror the devastating floods of 2010.

In December that year Queanbeyan was declared a natural disaster zone after the Queanbeyan River was hit with 103 millimetres of rain in 24 hours.

Residents had little warning of the flood because the river rose extraordinarily fast. It peaked at 8.4 metres.

Evacuations were ordered in at least nine streets, with the east river bank the hardest hit.

Despite the forecast not being as extreme, Queanbeyan SES operations manager Erin Lockley said residents should expect wind and heavy rainfall and be prepared for that.

“We don’t expect major flooding as the dam isn’t at capacity at the moment,” Ms Lockley said.

“But residents should prepare their properties and check their gutters, secure any large items like trampolines, and if they need assistance to call the SES on 132 500.”

“We have crews on standby.

“We’re expecting jobs to come through and we’re ready to respond to those jobs and to assist around the region as well, if required,” she said.

The entire state of Victoria and large parts of South Australia and New South Wales are on flood watch as an unprecedented wet weather system looks to smash through the recent record-breaking heat.

Southern and eastern Australia is about to cop a lashing from Mother Nature, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) advises, with falls of up to 200mm predicted in parts of Victoria and western NSW.

The State Emergency Service advises that people should: 

  • Don't walk, ride or drive through flood water
  • Keep clear of creeks and storm drains
  • Be aware that in fire affected areas, rainfall run-off into waterways may contain debris such as ash, soil, trees and rocks
  • Be alert that in areas recently affected by fires, heavy rainfall increases the potential for landslides and debris across roads

Warnings current at 12pm Friday, December 1


  • Flood watch for Queanbeyan and Molonglo, Bell, Belubula, Murrumbidgee, Upper Murray and Snowy Rivers: Local and minor to moderate riverine flooding may develop along the Murrumbidgee River from Friday onwards. Southern and central districts forecast to receive the most rain, with some areas likely to receive heavy to very heavy rainfall during Friday and Saturday. The Upper Murrumbidgee catchment is wet following rainfall in the last two weeks. Potential to cause minor to moderate riverine flooding as well as local flooding from Friday onwards.