Update Sunday 9am:
THE Namoi River at Gunnedah exceeded the major flood level of 7.90 metres on Saturday, with the river likely to reach around 8.60 metres on Sunday morning.
The State Emergency Service (SES) warned on Sunday morning the flooding would have potential impacts at various river heights.
"At 8.00 metres the continuing breakout causes water to spread towards the south, away from the river, inundating the lower portions of Gunnedah," the SES said.
"At 8.40 metres the majority of the tarmac of the Gunnedah Airport is inundated and closed to all aircraft.
"The homes and occupants are not at risk but livestock and machinery needs to have been relocated by this height."
The Namoi River at 8.53 metres was the peak height of the 1974 flood.
"At this stage, water begins to enter property in Conadilly and Warrabungle Streets," the SES said.
"Renewed rises" have been observed upstream of Gunnedah along the Mooki River and river levels at Breeza Station will likely peak near 7.0 metres.
The Kamilaroi Highway has reopened between Curlewis and Breeza but remains closed between Boggabri and Gunnedah.
The Kamilaroi Highway is also closed between Wee Waa and Narrabri and between Trucking Yard Lane and Doreen Lane in Wee Waa.
The highway is also closed between Walgett and Narrabri. Motorists who need to travel are able to take the Gywdir Highway to Moree then the Newell Highway to Narrabri.
Clifton Road is closed between Carroll and Breeza, and Grain Valley Road is closed between the Oxley Highway and the Kamilaroi Highway at Boggabri.
The Gunnedah floods have been declared a natural disaster, as residents await an expected flood peak of 8.5 metres on Saturday night.
In a Saturday morning update, the State Emergency Service (SES) warned that "major flooding" at both Gunnedah and Narrabri would likely peak on Saturday.
Wee Waa is already experiencing major flooding.
"Renewed rises have been observed upstream of Gunnedah along the Mooki River," the SES said.
"River levels at Breeza Station are approaching a peak near 6.7 metres."
On Friday, the Commonwealth Government issued a natural disaster declaration for 13 local government areas in the region, including Gunnedah, Upper Hunter, Gwydir and Narrabri.
The declaration unlocks disaster assistance for local councils, residents, primary producers, small businesses, and charities through the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.
Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England Barnaby Joyce said the funding will help eligible people whose homes or belongings have been damaged, fund support for affected local councils to help with the costs of cleaning up and restoring damaged essential public assets, offer concessional interest rate loans for small businesses, primary producers and non-profit organisations, freight subsidies for farmers and more.
NSW Farmers President James Jackson, who had called on the state and federal government to issue the declaration on Friday, said the "announcement will give some assurance that recovery and rebuilding can begin once the waters recede."
The Namoi River is likely to reach 8.5 metres overnight on Saturday or on Sunday after exceeding the major flood level of 7.9 metres on Saturday.
The Narrabri Creek in Narrabri is likely to exceed the major flood level of 6.7 metres on Sunday, before hitting a about 7.2 metres on Monday, with further rises expected.
The Namoi River at Wee Waa may reach 7.25 metres on Saturday, causing major flooding, with the peak to remain at that level without subsiding for about a week, the SES said.
The river may reach 8.5 metres in Boggabri on Sunday, causing minor flooding, though further rises are expected as water runs downstream of Gunnedah.
The story in Tamworth is much less concerning, with Calala Lane reopened at 11.05pm on Friday night.
The Oxley Highway has reopened in both directions between Carroll and Gunnedah, according to Live Traffic NSW.
SCOTT ROAD and Calala Lane have closed due to flooding on Friday afternoon, making the commute home from work a little harder.
Live Traffic NSW updates show the section of the New England Highway known as Scott Road has been shut after it was swamped with water.
Calala has once again become an island after both Calala Lane and O'Briens Lane were cut off by flooding.
Tamworth could experience moderate level flooding overnight, the weather bureau has warned.
CALALA LANE may be cut off by floodwater on Friday afternoon as Goonoo Goonoo Creek flows surge.
Tamworth Regional Council has warned anyone needing to use Calala Lane should be aware that it may be impaired from about 4pm on Friday.
The same message applies to Scott Road as well, the council confirmed.
"Those anticipating access at or after this time should reconsider their need to travel, or make other arrangements," a statement said.
Traffic on the New England Highway south of Tamworth is slow going as water from flash flooding pools on one side of the road.
THE RAIN has not yet gone away and renewed river rises could bring fresh flooding to Tamworth and Gunnedah.
Tamworth clocked about 27mm of the wet stuff in the past day, according to the Bureau of Meteorology weather station at Tamworth airport.
Gunnedah notched up another almost 60mm of rain in that time, just a day after a major flood inundated parts of town.
More showers and storms, which could bring bursts of heavy rain, are on the forecast for Tamworth and Gunnedah on Friday.
A flood warning is in place for the Peel River in Tamworth and the Namoi River in Gunnedah.
The BoM said Tamworth could reach the minor flood level on Friday evening depending on whether the rain on the forecast ends up falling in the catchment.
Gunnedah is still in the midst of a moderate flood and the lower levels have revealed a massive clean-up effort for affected residents, and more water could be on the way.
"Renewed rises have been observed upstream at Breeza Station which may cause renewed rises at Gunnedah," the BoM said on Friday morning.
Minor flooding was occurring at Narrabri and Boggabri on Friday morning, and with more water surging downstream, there could be further rises.
The community of Wee Waa is facing a major flood and the BoM has warned the community that the Namoi River may remain above the seven metre mark for up to a week and could leave the town cut off.
Several main roads and other routes across the entire New England North West either remain closed or have been shut to traffic on Friday morning due to the torrents of water.
In the Tamworth Regional Council area, the following roads are closed:
- Duri Loomberah Road - near Loomberah Hall and near Gowrie Road
- Wallamore Road - from Tamworth to Tangaratta Creek causeway
- Warral Road at Impala Estate
- Whitehouse Lane, Goonoo Goonoo Creek Kingswood
- The following roads remain closed:
- Kia Ora Lane
- Tilmunda Road, Watsons Creek
- Kelsos Lane
- Bayliss Lane
- Higgins Street Low Level Crossing, Manilla
- William Street, Barraba
- Davidsons Lane
- Duck Under at Warral Road
- Burgmanns Lane
- Glen Barra Road, Halls Creek - 10km east of Halls Creek road, 2km from Glen Barra Station
- Soldiers Settlement Road
- William Street, Barraba
- Havannah Street Low Level Bridge
- Duri Dungowan Road, Reedy Creek - between Monteray Road and Tongues Lane
Calala Lane and O'Briens Lane remained open on Friday morning.
Dozens of roads across the Liverpool Plains and Gunnedah shire areas are closed and travellers are reminded to never enter floodwater.
Gunnedah Shire Council mayor Jamie Chaffey said the town has faced one of its worst floods in recent years this week.
"With more rain forecast, renewed flooding is likely to continue over the weekend and the impacts of this major weather event will be felt for many weeks to come," he said.
"On behalf of Gunnedah Shire Council, our thoughts are with those who have been displaced and had homes, businesses and property damaged by significant flooding.
"Looking back on our experience of drought, it's difficult to comprehend the deluge of water we are now encountering.
We are thinking of those who are facing significant damage to crops so close to what could have been a bumper harvest."
Cr Chaffey thanked emergency volunteers including those based in Gunnedah and those who travelled to the area to help out.
He said roads could be affected for some time and urged residents to be patient and do the right thing.
"The Gunnedah shire community has always shown strength and resilience when faced with hardship and it has been heartening to see people checking on their neighbours, volunteering and donating items to those in need," he said.
"The impacts of such a major weather event will be ongoing and we need to keep up this support as we look to the recovery phase."
Large stretches of the Kamilaroi Highway remain closed to traffic, including from Wee Waa to Narrabri and from Gunnedah to Boggabri.
An unplanned power outage due to damaged equipment is affecting about 700 residents in the Werris Creek area.
The State Emergency Service (SES) hotline crashed overnight and calls were asked to be limited to essential and immediate requests only.
Call the SES for assistance on 132 500 if needed, or call Triple Zero (000) in a life-threatening emergency.
Flood warnings and watches can be found here.
Flood preparation advice can be found here.
Road closures can be found here.
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