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Rains in far west NSW bring tears of joy as one night's downpour brings more than whole year combined

Sara Tomevska, Thursday October 4, 2018 - 23:32 EST
ABC image
A rain cloud in action over a rather parched looking farm on the Sturt Highway, between Narrandera and Hay. - ABC

Broken Hill has received more rain in one evening than the whole year combined, with 34.2 millimetres of rain lashing the city overnight.



The thunderstorm came only three hours and sent residents running for cover.

Despite meteorologist predictions of heavy rain accompanying the dust storm, locals were heartily disappointed with only 5mm of rainfall.

But then the main event rolled across the far west at around 6:00pm, the region's first major rainfall since 2016 when hailstorms wreaked havoc across Broken Hill.

Tim Neville from Blantyre station, 90 kilometres east of Menindee, recorded more than 40mm of rain on his property.

"41 millimetres! It's bloody great to see. I've lost my words," he told ABC Broken Hill's breakfast program.

Trudy and Ian Edson on Sterling Vale Station near Ivanhoe recorded 100mm of rain, more than the last four years combined.

"The anguish that you see on a daily basis, it still brings me to tears," an emotional Trudy Edson told ABC radio.

"Even though it's really happy times, every time it rains I always cry.

"To be honest, we'd been spending the last few weeks looking for somewhere else to send our stock, we were inches away from signing the dotted line.

"My friend sent me a video of her one-year-old daughter who has never seen rain, and she's dancing.

"It doesn't matter how old you are, rain brings people joy."

Much needed rainfall



The State Emergency Service received over forty call-outs from residents complaining of leaking roofs, loose sheet iron and uprooted trees.

"We've had a lot of roof calls, a lot of loose iron, a lot of ridge capping, a lot of trees down … we've been cleaning up trees all over the roads," said local SES chief Darrin Larkin.

Strong winds even dropped a trampoline onto the middle of Bonanza Street in the city's south.

Although the storm brought with it some destruction, it also brought desperately needed relief for graziers in the region.



"God it was good to see the rain coming down last night," said Duncan Pickering, a small property owner along Black Hill creek, near Silverton.

He said the rain inundated the small town.

"It was flowing quickly and over two metres deep at the intersection into Silverton and you couldn't see the reflectors or the water marker," he said.



, with figures from the Department of Primary Industries showing every part of the state is affected by the dry conditions and almost one quarter classified as being in "intense drought".

, with heavy downpours expected to hit the majority of New South Wales.

But the Bureau of Meteorology says it is unclear whether it will be enough to break the drought.

The Central Darling Shire Council has announced road closures across several roads in the region.

An up-to-date list of .


- ABC

© ABC 2018

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