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Downpour fills dams, soaks paddocks in drought-hardened far western NSW over Easter

Jessie Davies, Tuesday April 23, 2019 - 14:31 EST
ABC image
The Darling River between Bourke and Louth after 75mm of rain fell in the district. - ABC

After two years of crippling drought, graziers in far western New South Wales had their prayers answered at the Easter long weekend.

Widespread rain filled dams and soaked paddocks from Bourke to Menindee, with up to 75 millimetres falling in some areas.

Bourke resident Leanne Davis, whose family has been , welcomed the soaking rain.

"Now we have lovely, fresh water that doesn't smell anymore!" she said.





Dry conditions have slowed Peter Ponder's .

"I'll be spending the day today with a jigsaw puzzle and a few movies," said the grazier from Emaroo Station, near Wanaaring.



He said his country is in the worst shape it has ever been.

"Our country is looking desperate," he said.

With cool weather approaching, Mr Ponder hopes the weekend's rain will lead to good pasture growth and put an end to his daily routine of hand-feeding his stock.

"This rain has certainly lifted our spirits," he said.

Most unsealed roads are closed around the township of Wanaaring today after 50mm fell in the district.

But according to local store owner Ben Strong "no-one's complaining".

"Last year our total rainfall for the year was 85mm, and in the past 24 hours we have had over 50mm," he said.

About 75mm fell on Easter Monday at Trilby Station on the Darling River near Louth.

Station owner Liz Murray said there was now more that 5 centimetres of water in the river, which was dry enough to play cricket in just two days ago.

"We're absolutely ecstatic," she said.

Mrs Murray and her family have been hand-feeding their Merino sheep for the past 20 months at a cost of $130,000 a month.

"Our next trigger point for selling more sheep was yesterday, so we're very happy we've had this rainfall."


- ABC

© ABC 2019

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