Weekend of rain brings hope to drought-affected New England

Dundee farmer Grant Kneipp was overcome with joy to see his dam full again, and couldn't resist a swim.

Dundee farmer Grant Kneipp was overcome with joy to see his dam full again, and couldn't resist a swim.

Dundee farmer Grant Kneipp was in Glen Innes when Friday's rains started.

The lifetime farmer was a bit anxious; in two years their property has received just 850mm, less than their one-year average.

As they drove home he Grant checked the Bureau maps. Would they miss out again?

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"I was as usual getting frustrated thinking we've missed it again," he said.

"In typical drought weather you're always hoping you can get one, but it always seems to be on the hill beside you and you're never under the right cloud."

But as they arrived home, it was obvious this rain event was a bit different. As of Monday afternoon they'd received 130mm.

He celebrated by jumping into one of his dams.

"We've been struggling with empty dams for the last two years now and we've actually been buying water in for the stock.

"Every day's been an hour and a half to two hours just moving water from a little spring-fed dam we've got dug up at the top of the hill.

"I've got a kilometre and a half of pipe that gravity-feeds into all the troughs and I've got to go go fill them up twice a day.

"It'll certainly give us a bit more free time."

Glen Innes airport recorded some 40mm of rain over the weekend and into Monday. Armidale measured 76.2mm, with Tenterfield recording 66.4mm and Inverell recording 58mm over the four days.

The weekend's rain is not the end of the drought yet but Grant Kneipp said the water in the dams means there's one fewer job for the next weeks.

They've been recording rainfall for the Bureau of Meteorology since his grandfather owned the property more than 60 years ago. They've never received lower rainfall.