WA: Record flood in the Murchison approaches Kalbarri
Record rains from Tropical Cyclone Emma (see DWS for 1 March) continue to produce record flood levels in the Murchison River as the flood peak approaches Kalbarri and the sea. At Emu Springs, about 30km NE of the town, the river peaked at 7.8m early this morning, about 0.4m higher than the previously highest recorded flood peak in 1960. The river is up to 16km wide in places and extensive building and fence damage and stock losses have been reported on at least 8 pastoral properties in the catchment. Murchison House station, 10km NE of Kalbarri, was evacuated yesterday as floodwaters up to 2m deep entered the homestead, and there were fears that the original 1850s mudbrick cottage would not survive water erosion. Farther inland, Mileura Station was flooded for the first time in 120 years.
In Kalbarri, the rivermouth was closed to shipping on Tuesday after rising, fast-flowing floodwaters pinned a boat against Oyster Reef at the northern entrance to the river. Professional fishing operations were moved to Port Gregory, 50km to the south. Residents and State Emergency Services volunteers, aided by students given time off from school, constructed two sandbag levees to protect the town, one 400m by 1m high and a second 500m long by 2m high. The levees held as the flood peaked in Kalbarri during Thursday 16 March, with only low-lying areas of the town flooding.
WA, NT, QLD: Monsoon rain and flooding continue
The active monsoon trough visible in the surface charts below continues to produce widespread heavy rain and storms across the northern tropics. On Cape York Peninsula, Lockhart River Airport recorded 136.8mm between 3 and 7pm. Highest falls for the 24 hours to 9am are listed in wettest and shorter duration falls through the day are given in downpours. Minor flooding continues in QLD in the lower Tully River, in the Thomson River around Longreach, Cooper Creek around Windorah, Norman River near Yappar River and the Georgina around Urandangi.
NSW, VIC: Useful rain in SE NSW, NE VIC
A trough moving across SE Australia gave useful if variable falls from showers in NE VIC and parts of the NSW South Coast and Southern Tablelands this afternoon and evening. The heaviest totals were on the Alps (Mt Hotham 41.4mm and Perisher Valley 35.0 to 9am Thursday), but many locations recorded 10 to 20mm, their heaviest rain in nearly two months.