• Short Summary

    In Australia, severe flooding swept the state of New South Wales on Monday (21 March) after there days of tropical downpours and gales.

  • Description

    CU PULL BACK: Reporter sitting on top of flooded house.

    AERIAL VIEW & CU:Warrogamba dam and discharging water. (5 SHOTS)

    AERIAL VIEW: Water pouring through gorge.

    AERIAL VIEW: Flooded lowland area with houses partly submerged. (4 SHOTS)

    CU: Cow with only its head above water.

    CU: Police official talking to reporter.

    AERIAL VIEWS OF: Flooded area, with police official conversation continuing with reporter. (7 SHOTS)

    REPORTER:"The floods started locally on Sunday night and that's when the State Emergency Service went into operation It wasn't until early yesterday morning when the flood gates of the Warrogamba ??? Dam were opened that the full extent of the situation was realised, and for the local people that meant disaster.

    In 24-hours the Warrogamba Dam can release more water than there is in the whole of Sydney harbour. Last night the automatic gates were fully opened and four-and-a-half thousand million gallons was pouring into the gorge every hour. At six o'clock this morning the gates had closed slightly, and I'm told that by tonight the gates will have closed by still further. The gates open as a last resort. Dams in the Upper Nepean system had until the rains been more than ten feet below storage. That discharge combined with the local flooding has resulted in the biggest flood in the Richmond Windsor area in at least fourteen years.

    Some fifty homes have been evacuated since early this morning. More than two hundred people are under emergency care. The state emergency service is operating four flood boats and the police have two in the area."

    NICHOLSON:"The worst was this morning. We knew the water was coming down, had the predicted peaks, we read the meters every hour, we knew it was coming and could see in our minds what was happening and from experience we knew what was going to happen, but until the sun came up this morning we didn't really know. And if you get a chance to have a look as you have and I have it's a terrible horrible mess...miles and miles of flooding."

    REPORTER:"What about losses John?"

    NICHOLSON:"We'll have to wait to later in the day to see what cattle losses and, what horse losses there've been...we know what damage has been done to houses, we know what might happen to them."

    REPORTER:"Farmers of course would have suffered incredible losses?"

    NICHOLSON:"Incredible losses, I doubt if there's any other word to describe it. They've lost everything, there'll be nothing left in the lowlands, the fertile area of this district."

    REPORTER:"And market gardens?"

    NICHOLSON:"All gone, there'll be nothing left at all in this area."

    REPORTER:" John, people are comparing this to the 1964 floods?"

    NICHOLSON:"It is almost exactly the same. The height reached by the water is almost the same as it was fourteen years ago."

    Initials JS/1900


    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: In Australia, severe flooding swept the state of New South Wales on Monday (21 March) after there days of tropical downpours and gales. Four people have been reported dead as a result of the floods and more than 800 people were left homeless. The heaviest rain fell in rural districts with more than 36 inches (914 mm) being recorded in four days in some areas. A local police official, Mr. John Nicholson, said the floods were the worst in fourteen years. Channel Ten-10's Scott Chisholm reports.

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