WHILE Thursday’s rainfall had little direct impact on Suma Park Dam, it wreaked havoc on employees’ cars at Cadia Valley Operations.
John Zelukovic Smash Repairs director Ben Zelukovic said he had picked up two cars so far, out of an estimated 40 flooded vehicles in the car park.
“I was on my way back from Sydney [on Thursday] and I saw there was a pretty gnarly storm out there,” he said.
Mr Zelukovic said the water reached seat height in some of the cars and the carpets were covered in mud.
He anticipated most of the damaged cars would be written off because water could make its way into the electronics and gearboxes.
“Over time, it all corrodes and destroys everything,” he said.
“Water gets into every nook and cranny you can think of.”
Cadia Valley Operations maintenance manager Liam Franklyn said the thunderstorm dropped about 100 millimetres of rain within a two-hour period.
“The storm was isolated in nature and resulted in stormwater pipes in the vicinity of the main Cadia employee car park being overloaded,” he said.
He said some employees had to wait up to two hours for the floodwaters to recede.
“Newcrest has developed an assistance package and is working with affected employees,” he said.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology, 40 millimetres fell at Orange Airport on Thursday, 21 millimetres fell near Mount Canobolas and 16 millimetres fell at north Orange.
Despite the rain, Suma Park’s level still dropped to 38.7 per cent as of Friday, down from 39.5 per cent the week before.
Total water storage dropped from 46.1 per cent to 45.5.
Lake Canobolas users will benefit, however, after the lake gained 3 per cent in the past week, rising to 68.3 per cent.
Level four water restrictions will kick in once storage drops below 40 per cent, which Orange City Council predicts could occur next month, assuming no rain and a 1 per cent weekly drop from continued demand and evaporation.
Staff initially predicted level four restrictions by the end of February, however stormwater harvesting and the Macquarie River Pipeline added to stores.
Further afield, 42 millimetres fell at Borenore, 11 millimetres fell at Molong and 23 millimetres fell at Blayney.
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