Flood is on, Footy is Off


The Upper Hunter faced its fourth flood in less than a year this week.

First responders across multiple agencies conducted rescues across the region, roads and highways were temporarily closed throughout the week and Singleton’s Hunter River reached its highest peak since 2007.

Locals flocked to vantage points across Singleton’s Cook and Civic Park as the flowing river surpassed last year’s flood peaks of 12.71m (recorded on November 29) and 12.20m (March 24) by midday Wednesday with a level of 13m and rising.

Heavy rainfall resulted in flood rescues in Belford, Broke and Glendon keeping emergency services on their toes since the heavy rain event started Sunday afternoon.

Rescue services in Denman were called to assist with the transportation of a sick three-year-old child for medical treatment on Tuesday evening.

Almost 80 homes in lower parts of Scone were door knocked in the early hours of Wednesday as residents were warned of potential water inundation and advised to evacuate.

However, that emergency was called off soon after much to everyone’s relief.

While the emergency situation has eased for the top end of the Upper Hunter, Singleton remains on high alert with predictions the river could reach a peak of 13.8m peak Thursday morning.

At the time of going to print on Wednesday afternoon, the Hunter River through Singleton was 13.10m at 3pm.

Singleton’s emergency response is well prepared for what lies ahead with numerous agencies lending a hand.

“This was very similar to last November in terms of multiagencies,” Singleton SES Public Information Officer Simone Burrows told The Hunter River Times on Wednesday.

“We are being supported really well by all of the other agencies and we genuinely appreciate their help.

“It means that we are confident to respond to whatever is put in front of us and with an event like this that is so hard to predict and is changing so rapidly, this capacity is really important.”

Tireless Efforts from our SES Volunteers


For the third time in 12 months, an SES emergency rescue centre was set up in Singleton to assist with this week’s major floods.

Once again, members of the Rural Fire Service, Police, Singleton Council and Surf Life Saving gathered to lend a helping hand.

And it was greatly appreciated according to those within the local SES Unit.

Six members of the Singleton SES Unit had been deployed to Lismore the previous week from Monday, February 28 to Thursday, March 3 to assist the region’s national flood emergency.

SES leaders Simon Merrick (Chief Inspector – Hunter Area Command) and Tim Merrick (Singleton Unit Commander) led a six-member team of flood technicians (three of which were level three) along with Marg Ashlin, Micheal Bright, Jacob Fox and Theo Godschalk.

One had even returned from an interstate holiday to help in the emergency.

There was little time to rest as they gathered for Sunday’s briefing before conducting a rescue at Belford on Monday evening.

“On Monday night, three people, a dog and a cat were rescued,” Singleton SES Public Information Officer Simone Burrows explained.

“The victims were stuck with over one metre of water on their driveway, it was flash flooding not a river flood.

“They received over 100ml of rain,” Miss Burrows said.

“They have lived in their house for more than 20 years and have never experienced anything like it before.”

The Singleton SES unit continued rescues throughout the region since Monday while the evacuation of a sick three-year-old child in Denman was the only recorded flood rescue for SES units in Muswellbrook as of Wednesday evening.

“We had a flood rescue on Cessnock Road, two elderly people needed to be taken from their house and moved to a safer location,” Miss Burrows added.

There was another rescue at Glendon on Tuesday night when a vehicle became caught in floodwaters with two people trapped.

The community is reminded to reframe from walking or driving through floodwaters and to heed the advice of all emergency services.

MEANWHILE those living in Singleton are anxiously watching the river to see what may unfold.

IN OTHER NEWS Glennies Creek Dam is at 94.2 per cent capacity, up from 76.8 per cent a fortnight ago. Glenbawn Dam is sitting at 90 per cent, up from 85.1 two weeks ago.


March 202112.20m
November 202112.71m
March 202213.15m