Awoonga Dam levels are at record highs.
Awoonga Dam levels are at record highs.

Lake Awoonga saddle dam close to breaking point

LAKE AWOONGA's saddle dam has the potential to break at any time after rainfall sent water toppling over the maximum spillway early this morning.

Around 1am the rising water level tipped 8.3m over the auxiliary spillway.

Yesterday the dam reached 6m over the spillway, and authorities were expecting it to reach 7.5m by today.

Gladstone Area Water Board CEO Jim Grayson said a part of the dam's infrastructure was designed to break away if it accumulated too much water.

At this stage the dam is designed to reach water levels of between 43.45m and 47.9m.

"The release will not have any adverse effects on the surrounding waterways, but there is a chance the South Trees Inlet and Boyne River could rise as a result," Mr Grayson said.

If the saddle dam does break then the possibility of rising flood waters in the Boyne Island, Tannum Sands and Benaraby area is very likely.

Mr Grayson said the water board was working closely with Gladstone Regional Council's Local Disaster Management Group to provide up to date information about the situation.

In 2010 Awoonga Dam spilled for the first time. It ceased spilling in 2011.

The last time Awoonga Dam broke water level records was on December 28, 2010, when it reached 44.16m.



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