Tag: flood

Bellingen floods – when do bridges close?

Update: If you’re wanting to see where Lavender’s Bridge in Bellingen is open go to the Kombu floodcam.

There’s lots of information available from the Bureau of Meteorology website about river heights but I find that it doesn’t really answer the important question most people have: when can I get across the bloody bridge(s)? Below is a quick summary table pulling together in one place

  1. the main four bridges in and around Bellingen – in town, Thora (if this one’s under no-one can get in our out of the valley and/or Chrysalis and Orama schools), Glennifer and Kalang
  2. what river height they close at, and
  3. live river height data from the Bureau of Meterology website (click the small picture to see full size graphs)
Locality Bridge
where it is/river
Closes Live Data
from BOM
Bellingen see on map Lavender’s Bridge in town Bellinger River about 4.9 metres
Thora see on map Hobart’s Bridge near Chrysalis School Bellinger River about 3 metres
Gleniffer see on map Gleniffer Bridge near Gleniffer Hall Never Never Creek anyone know?
Kalang Moody’s Bridge Kalang Rd Kalang River about 3 metres on the Kooroowi gauge

Any feedback or corrections welcome, please leave a comment below.

Bridge locations on the map

View Bridges around Bellingen that flood in a larger map (in new window on Google Maps)

Highest annual rainfall on record for Bellingen in 2009

2009 is now officially the highest annual rainfall on record for Bellingen with 3372mm recorded so far this year. The 500mm+ received this week sees 1921’s paltry 2895mm soundly beaten (source: Bellingen Courier Sun).

Average is around 1500mm.

And there’s still seven more weeks to go before the end of the year…

The 5th Bellingen flood for 2009

Gushing path

Extreme weather can’t come much more extreme than this. Another 14 inches of rain (350mm) in the last couple of days makes for soggy feet again.

Sure, we expect a bit of a flood around late summer/autumn every year or two but five times in one year?

Not whinging, just wondering…


Yes, Bellingen is flooded again. May 23, 2009.

cnr Dowle and Hammond Streets Bellingen May 2009

Third ‘one in a hundred year’ flood so far this year for Bellingen.

The atmosphere around town has shifted from Excited What Fun (February flood), How Odd So Soon After The Last One (April flood) to a resigned We’re Over It Now Please Go Away Now – lots less people even bothering to wander around and look at the damage this time around.

School and work evacuated on Thursday, Lavender’s Bridge in Bellingen well over ‘major’ flood level again, Bellingen Show cancelled.

After the flood – Bellingen pics April 5, 2009

Tennis Courts, Bellingen after flood, April 5, 2009

There’s always lots of photos of a flood, not so many of the aftermath. He’s a few from around Bellingen (and a couple from Urunga) as the floodwaters recede.

4 more things you can do in North Bellingen when there’s a flood

Bellingen flood April 1, 2009 (composite image)

1. Listen to the helicopters

Proposed by Tim for the things to do list last time. Even more of them the last two days.

2. Listen to the trailbikes

No cops = teenage boys go wild on their two strokes.

3. Wonder at people who insist on driving their cars through raging torrents

See the price they pay afterwards… (see update in comments below)

Bellingen flood April 2, 2009 stranded car

4. Drink beer

I know it was on the list last time but, hey, it still works…

Bellingen Flood April 1, 2009 - Lavender's Bridge

Deja vu: Bellingen floods. Again. March 31, 2009

Bellingen Flood March 31, 2009

Seems like only a matter of weeks ago when Bellingen last flooded. Oh, it was.

Well this time it’s looking like we’re going to go one better.

Day started with the 6.30am phone calls to let us know school’s off.

Tried to go to work but the bridge through town was about to close which would have stranded me on the wrong side so came back home to work from there instead.

Power went off for a few hours.

When it came back for me the power at the office went off killing the development server.

Acacia had some friends visit. The first one left when floodwater started coming in under her house.

I just took her other friend home. Couldn’t get the car to her house because the street was cut and there were a crew of people trying to sweep water out of and away from two houses at the low point in the street. Bolted up the street in the deluge with the kids. Those guys had moved all of their downstairs furniture before the water came in but their neighbour hadn’t so I went over and tried unsuccessfully to help float/manouvere a waterlogged dresser up the stairs there.

The rain’s still hammering down and the river’s still rising.

Bellinger River heights at Bellingen Bridge March 31, 2009
Bureau of Meteorology river height data for Bellinger River at around 5.30pm

10 things you can do in North Bellingen when there’s a flood

1. Hang out at the bridge

The place to be. Make sure to bring your dog, camera and war stories.

2. Queue at The Prov

Most popular items : bread, ciggies, beer

3. Be glad you don’t live in Black Street

And have half of your house underwater.

4. Take photos of the same things as everyone else (like me)

Look, the street sign is under water.

Hammond Street Bellingen in flood Feb 2009

(2009 option: post on Facebook)

5. Check out the coverage on online news sites

See what they get right and wrong and who’s being quoted.

6. Check out the weather and river heights online

Obsessively, about every 10 minutes.

There’s rain forecast for another four days…
Ohh, the river height at Thora is 5.2 now….
Looks like there’s more rain coming from up north on the radar

7. Wonder whether the bridge is under/still under

Better go down and check again…

8. Dig drains

To divert water from coming in to your house. Remember to do some ‘proper’ drainage work when the weather’s better.

9. Conduct an umbrella audit

Remind yourself to get an umbrella that works/doesn’t have holes/is big enough. So you can forget until next time it rains.

10. Reassure your anxious relatives

Yes, it’s rained a bit. No, we’re not going to drown. No, the river has never reached even close to the level of our house, ever.  No, the world is not about to end. Hold the food parcels. As above, we’ve got The Prov anyway.

and a bonus…

11. Drink beer

If you ever needed an excuse this is it…

Any other suggestions welcome – add comments below. Is there an alternative list for South Bello or Thora/Kalang?

When it rains in Bellingen

When it rains in Bellingen in late Summer it doesn’t mess about. We usually get the tail end of the tropical rains from North Queensland in February and March and – as we’ve just experienced – this can mean 375mm (15 inches) or more in a short period of time.

Bellingen in flood Feb 2009

The atmosphere in town on a flood day is unique and very sociable. Work and school are out because no-one can get out so most people grab an umbrella and the dog and wander down to check out the river and swap stories about how the garage or back yard has handled the deluge.

Because the river runs through the middle of town you can just make out the folks way over on the suddenly far away other bank doing the same.

Us lucky North-siders have the benefit of The Prov, the only shop in North Bellingen. The Prov is a class establishment of the highest order. Potato scallops, seafood sticks, you name it. And bottleshop. By 8.30am there’s a huge queue of people frantically stocking up on bread, milk and beer.

Here’s a few photos from today. Some by me, most  by Acacia Pip.

© 2017 Steve Coates

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑