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Lake Pinaroo fills for first time in 10 years as Far West NSW welcomes heavy rains

By Callum Marshall and Andrew Schmidt , Thursday April 1, 2021 - 05:44 AEDT
ABC image
Dead coolabah trees are surrounded by water in Lake Pinaroo after the desert region was drenched by heavy rainfall last week. - ABC

For the first time in 10 years, Lake Pinaroo in the far west of New South Wales is fullafter heavy rains drenched the desert region.

The lake is located about 100 kilometres west of Tibooburra and about 30 kilometres from Cameron Corner ?where New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland intersect.

Wild Deserts project coordinatorReece Pedler, who lives near the lake at Fort Grey Homestead,said just under 100 millimetres of rain had been recorded there recently.

He said after living at the site for about four years, he and hisfamily did not think they would ever see the lake full.

"But it's full as it can be and an absolute sight to behold," he said.

"The lake is totally inundated and probably over three metres in the middle.

"(The lake's) about 7kilometres by 3 kilometres roughly ? I think that's around 800 hectares, although the water would be above that level now."

Three years' rainintwo days

Almost 20 roads still remain closed in the far west region following last week's heavy rain, including most of the roads out of Tibooburra.

The town recorded its wettest March day on record when 140mm drenched the area on Monday last week.

Mr Pedler said he loved living out in the desert and seeing incredible changes in the landscape.

"Over 2017, '18, '19, our combined rainfall for those three years is about equal to what we received in a day-and-a-half last week," he said.

"It couldn't be more different and the country [couldn't] look more different.

"Aren't we lucky to be able to be out here when it's flooded and to see all these things unfold?"

Mr Pedler said it was amazing to see waterbirds flockto the lake.

"Within hours we were seeing things like black-tailed native hens, gull-billed terns, grey teal and other ducks like pink-eared ducks on the water at Lake Pinaroo," he said.

"Now there's thousands of black-tailed native hens and other birds and we can hear them flying around at night."


© ABC 2021

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