flood area expands in QLD
The band of torrential rain that initiated major flooding in the Rockhampton/Baralaba
area yesterday morning moved to the east then south yesterday afternoon
and evening (see chart below). It nearly gave Gladstone its second daily
rainfall record in three days, and created major flooding in the upper
Gladstone Radar Station recorded 229mm for the 24 hours to 9am today,
just 0.4mm shy of its previous record which was broken two days ago.
Between 90 and 125mm of rain fell yesterday and overnight in the upper
Burnett and Kolan Rivers to the south and east of Monto. These rivers
rose rapidly from below minor to above major flood levels in the 12 hours
to mid-morning this morning. The Burnett peaked at Eidsvold Bridge at
14.05m at 6am Saturday with major flooding. Meanwhile, the flood crest
in the Dawson north of Baralaba moved past Newlands about 9 this evening
with a major flood level peak of 17.45m.
Along the coast, the small settlement of Baffle Creek, 60km
NW of Bundaberg, was isolated with 15m of floodwater reported over the
access road. Supplies were being brought in by emergency services floodboat.
The resort towns of Agnes Waters and Town of 1770 remained isolated today,
with a boat being called in to transfer tourists to Gladstone. Many homes from
the south to the west of Rockhampton have been flooded by up to a metre of
muddy water, and authorities were issuing health warnings about polluted floodwater
today. Power continued to be out in widely scattered areas, with electricity
supplier Ergon Energy saying access problems due to the flooding were delaying
Ironically, six of the nine shires that were declared flood disaster
zones yesterday are also drought listed, meaning that hundreds
of primary producers will be eligible this weekend
and flood relief. Kroombit Dam, east of Biloela and
close to the area of heaviest rain, went from 0.5 per cent of capacity to 81
per cent in five days to today.
There has also been a rise of up to 35% at cattle yardings since the rain. However, while many would consider record rain to be a drought-breaker, farmers
20cm down were still as dry as dust after the surface water had run off.
|Rainfall in SE QLD for the 24 hours to 9am. BoM
From the 5th to the 13th a tropical low developed east of Christmas Island
being named tropical cyclone Fiona on the 5th. The system reached category
3 strength with wind gusts estimated to be 150 km/h on the 7th as it moved
westwards passing to the south of Christmas Island. The system turned
sharply to the south southeast on the 11th, before weakening below cyclone
intensity on the 13th.
Heavy rainfall during the beginning of February
caused river rises and flooding in the upstream reaches of the Burnett
River and its tributaries. Rainfall totals of up to 382 mm were recorded
for the 72 hours to 6am on the 7th February. Major flooding extended downstream
from Abercorn to Eidsvold Bridge, with moderate flooding continuing downstream
to Walla. The first flood warning was issued on 7th February and warnings
were finalized on the 11th February when the main floodwaters reached
Bundaberg, but remained below the minor flood level.
Expected milder conditions did not eventuate for firefighters
tackling parts of the Gippsland fires yesterday. Due to erratic fire
behaviour in the afternoon, crews were pulled off a number of containment
lines on the western and southern edges of the fire. Winds gusting to
60km/h pushed firefronts toward several settlements including Swifts
Creek, Bindi and Brooksville.
spot fires occurred north of Dargo yesterday and are being monitored.
new fires were reported, one north of Tolmie, near
which is was contained, and another 40km
north of Bairnsdale.