The extent of massive NSW floods revealed from the air – and more rain is on the way

Sky photography has revealed how much farmland has been flooded by rivers in the interior of New South Wales – so far.

Bathurst pilot David Carroll took to the air Thursday, capturing striking images of lush green folds quietly encircled by the brown water.

Flooded folds and a road from the air.
The floodwaters are slowly spreading through the Lachlan Valley.(Delivered by: David Carroll)

The Lachlan River peaked at the Forbes Iron Bridge on Thursday afternoon, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, just below the level of the devastating event of 2016.

This peak has now been moved downstream and the agency says moderate flooding will continue in the city while the water is released from Wyangala Dam.

A large brown puddle with trees sticking out.
Bumper crops are turned into swamps.(Delivered by: David Carroll)

The gauge at Cottons Weir peaked near 7 meters on Friday, and a peak at the marker at the Jemalong dam is expected on Monday.

But with more rain prospects, this flood may not be over.

Satellite images taken by the EU’s Copernicus Sentinel-2 show that water is slowly creeping across the region, even though the rainfall that began this disaster fell a week ago.

A satellite image that is predominantly red, with a narrow blue line winding through from the left, becomes wider to the right.
This satellite image captures floods spreading outward from the Lachlan River.(Delivered: EU: Copernicus Sentinel-2 image)

Flood guards have been issued for catchments across the state.

Water NSW manages dams and keeps a close eye on Wyangala, which flows into Lachlan.

Releases of up to 100 gigalitres a day have been made over the past week in an attempt to create “airspace” in the dam, leaving room for future influxes.

It is now about 95 percent full, ahead of the rain forecast that hits the hinterland as early as tonight.

Spokesman Tony Webber said it was an anxious time for both water managers and farmers downstream.

“In the case of Wyangala, that dam has gained its full capacity in the last four to five months,” he said.

“It has received more water in the last four or five months than it did in the previous four years.”

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The predicted widespread rainfall has prompted the state emergency service to issue flood alarms for several rivers.

They include several in northern NSW, but Mr Webber called Lachlan, Murrumbidgee in the south and Macquarie in central NSW “valleys of concern”.

“Since the last rainfall event, we have been making large spills of dams in Lachlan and Murrumbidgee, just to build up some capacity in these stocks to absorb the next influx,” Mr Webber said.

“But obviously, with full dams, the rivers peaking downstream, and catchments saturated, there’s only so much we can do.”

Folds with large puddles on.
Hundreds of billions of gallons of water now flow through the river system.(Delivered by: David Carroll)

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