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Saturday 30 December 2000

Queensland/northern NSW flood report
The heavy rain of the past week in northern Queensland, and of the past month in the state's inland areas has generated floods in many river systems. For the inland rivers in near level country, floodwaters take many weeks to travel down the river systems and flooding at any one point can last for several weeks to a month or more. The people in these outback areas tend to get forgotten after the rain stops, but flooded towns, stranded cattle and the isolation caused by inundated roads will continue well into January. As peaks are reached at major flood gauging stations they are listed in the Flood peaks section under Other extremes below. This summary of the flood status this morning gives some idea of the extent of the flooding.
  • Coastal rivers
    • The Don River peaked overnight last night with moderate flooding at Bowen following Friday's torrential downpours, and the river is now below flood level
  • Gulf rivers (This map from the BoM helps with the geography)
    • Major flooding continues in the lower Nicholson, Gregory, Albert and Leichhardt Rivers. These rivers converge in the Burketown area before entering the Gulf of Carpentaria. The Leichhardt at Floraville, about 70km inland from Burketown, peaked at 8.2m this afternoon, the highest flood peak since 1974 apart from the 9.7m peak in 1998. Burketown itself has been isolated for nearly a month and is likely to be cut off for most of January. Regular food drops are being made to the community and other outlying areas.
    • Moderate flooding continues in the upper Flinders River at Richmond while closer to the Gulf coastline around Walkers Bend, river levels are peaking just under the major flood level. At least two further weeks of near-major flooding are expected around Walkers Bend as upstream waters arrive. Between Richmond and Julia Creek, the Flinders and other streams have cut the Flinders Highway, isolating Mt Isa. The city was cut off during Christmas with the Barkly Highway to the Northern Territory and the highway to Longreach cut.
    • Minor flooding has developed in the Norman River around Normanton
  • Western Queensland
    • The Georgina River (map) which parallels the NT/Qld border flows south to around Bedourie, where it enters Eyre Creek which meanders SSW until, if water levels are sufficiently high, it joins the Diamantina River on its way to Lake Eyre in South Australia. Moderate to major flooding continues along the system from Urandangie for 400km to Glenlyon, with the main river now 15 to 30km wide.
    • East of the Georgina, the Diamantina River (map) floodwaters are now approaching Monkira, although moderate flooding continues for 150km upstream to Diamantina Lakes even though the peak was reached there in the third week of December. Minor flooding is expected to reach Birdsville in about a week.
    • The Thomson and Barcoo Rivers and Cooper Creek (map) are the next system to the east. Several flood peaks are moving through the system resulting in minor to moderate flooding from north of Longreach to south of Windorah, a straight-line distance of over 400km. The first peak passed Windorah on 27 December with major flooding, and moderate flooding there is now easing. However, further peaks now around Longreach are expected to bring the river at Windorah back above major flood level early in January. Minor flooding is easing in the Barcoo after being at major levels around Christmas.
  • Northwestern NSW
    • The Darling River flood peak, from heavy rain in Central Western NSW in November, passed Bourke on 21/22 December with moderate to major flooding, and is expected to reach Louth, about 100km downstream, on Monday with major flooding.

Today's highest rainfall totals for the 24 hours to 9am

118.2 Highbury Station Coen Qld
108.0 Mingela Qld
104.0 Moss Vale Station Bowen Qld
99.6 Lucky Springs Mt Surprise Qld

Other heavy falls in Queensland:
98.4 Hillgrove Station Homestead
87.0 Proserpine AP
82.0 Abingdon Downs Station Georgetown
79.4 Mackay MO, Mt Bassett
78.2 Hamilton Island

High falls for other periods:

Western Australia:
Warmun Halls Ck:
30mm in 3h to 6pm
Northern Territory:
33mm in 3h to 6am
Gove AP: 72mm in 9h to 6am
Coconut Is:
32mm in 1h to 9pm
Ingham: 50.6mm in 6h to 9pm
Mackay MO: 20.2mm in 30m to 8am
New South Wales:
Mt Seaview:
71mm in 18h to 9am
Jerrys Plains: 56mm in 18h to 9am
Horsley Park: 23mm in 3h to 6pm
Holsworthy: 39mm in 3h to 6pm

Today's highest & lowest temps

Wind (mean refers to the average windspeed over 10 minutes; gust is the highest speed recorded):

Fitzroy Crossing AP WA: Gusts to 81km/h at 3.02pm

Other extremes

Flood peaks:
Don at Bowen Qld:
4.64m overnight Fri/Sat with moderate flooding
Thomson at Longreach Qld: second peak around 2.4m this evening with minor to moderate flooding
Leichhardt at Floraville Qld: about 8.2m during the afternoon with major flooding


Maximum Minimum
44.6 Roebourne PO WA
44.0 Marble Bar WA
44.0 Onslow AP WA
28.0 Fitzroy Crossing AP WA
28.0 Giles MO WA
28.0 Dum In Mirrie NT
6.6 Mt Wellington Tas -2.3 Mt Wellington Tas

Greatest variations from normal

Maximum Minimum
44.0 Onslow AP WA
28.0 Giles MO WA
18.0 Laverton AP WA
1.0 Launceston AP Tas

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