HEAVY rainfall in Orange and surrounding areas in the early hours of yesterday has been welcomed by farmers, vignerons and keen gardeners who have been struggling to maintain sufficient moisture for trees and shrubs.
Orange’s State Emergency Service was alerted to potential flash flooding by the Bureau of Meteorology just before midnight on Saturday night calling on the organisation’s volunteers to check on water flows throughout the city.
Controller Kim Stevens said while volunteers were monitoring the watercourse under bridge near the Neighbourhood Centre in Spring Street around 2am yesterday morning an unsuspecting driver turned the corner to find he had driven into water.
“It came up over the number plate and we managed to get him out okay,” Mr Stevens said.
Mr Stevens said eight SES volunteers were kept busy during the early hours of the morning attending to 13 calls for help with minor flooding.
Anzac Park netball courts were inundated with mud after a retaining wall on a small dam nearby collapsed spilling water onto the surface of courts
The awning of a hotel in the central business district gave way under the weight of water in the deluge with SES blocking off the footpath until the owner carried out repairs early yesterday morning.
Mr Stevens said readings from various parts of Orange showed a variance in the amount of rain - between 30mm and almost 60mm.
However one Orange resident said she had collected more than 120mm in her rain gauge at Cecil Road for the 24-hours up to 8am yesterday.
Orange vigneron Stephen Doyle reports a much needed 56.3mm of rain falling at Bloodwood near Orange.
A Forest Reefs farmer who had started hand-feeding his cattle last week reported almost 60mm which will be enough to provide some green pick for stock.
Orange City Council’s manager of corporate and community relations Nick Redmond said council will check the impact of the rain on dam levels over the next couple of days.
“It is too soon to tell yet how how we fared,” he said.