|24-hour rainfall totals on the QLD North Coast
covering the 9 days from 9am Thursday 11 March to 9am Saturday 20 March. BoM
flooding on Far North QLD coast
The heavens opened above Cooktown around daybreak this morning, with
the airport gauge recording 252mm in the 4 hours from 6 to 10am, and a 24
hour to 9am total of 305mm. From Cooktown south to Tully, 24 hour
registrations to 9am were mostly in the 100 to 250mm range, and totals of
a similar order were again accumulated between 9am and the early hours of
when rain generally eased across the region.
A cyclone warning was current from Cape Flattery to Lucinda, centred on a
slow-moving 995hPa low located about 90km NE of Cairns late evening. Strong
winds were experienced on the coast from Cooktown to the south of Cairns, with
Green Island reporting a mean windspeed of 70km/h at 6am.
While heavy rain has fallen on and off since Thursday 11 March, the three
days ended 9am Saturday 20 March have seen some remarkable totals including:
686 Babinda PO
651 Mt Sophia
641 Copperlode Day
636 Daintree Tea
566 Kuranda Hilltop
542 Tung Oil
489 Cooktown Airport
471 South Johnstone
456 Cairns Severin St
437 Mossman South
From the beginning of the month to 9am Saturday 20 March, Babinda PO recorded
1512.3mm. In 89 years of record, the total rainfall for March has only exceeded
this amount on 9 occasions, with the heaviest March total being 1907.4mm in
Flooding continued today in all rivers and coastal streams from
Cooktown south to Ingham. The situation in the major systems late evening,
from north to south, was:
Daintree and coastal streams north of the Barron: Flooding
in the Daintree River has stopped the Daintree Ferry, isolating Daintree. The
Cooktown to Hopevale road was closed with 20 motorists who were caught between
rivers being ferried to Cooktown Airport.
Barron: Minor flooding between Mareeba and Bilwon,
with sharp rises late in the day due to very heavy rain in the lower catchment. Russett
Park near Kuranda was cut off and is being supplied by flood boat.
Mulgrave: Well over the Bruce Highway at Gordonvale with major
Russell: Major flooding.
Johnstone: Very rapid rises occurring in both the North and
South Johnstone Rivers.
Tully: The Tully River at Euramo was in moderate flood and
0.4m below the level of the Bruce Highway late afternoon.
Murray: Minor flooding continues.
The flooding has cut many roads in the area, while boats in Cooktown Harbour
have been capsized or washed out to sea by a combination of torrential rain
and gusty winds. Roads affected included the Gillies Highway southwest of Gordonvale,
the Bruce Highway south of Cairns, the Captain Cook Highway north of Cairns,
around Cairns and Mareeba. On the Kuranda Range, a landslide blocked the highway
around 6.30pm but was cleared by 9.30pm. Rain-weakened trees were brought down
on powerlines, blacking out thousands of homes. Houses were sandbagged
and roofs tarped in Cooktown, Cairns and in the Douglas Shire north of Cairns,
while 20 people were evacuated from Machans Beach in Cairns, the Goldsborough
of the city,
and at Koah.
Cyclone Fay strengthens to WA's north
Cyclone Fay moved west away from the north Kimberley coast
today. Troughton Island was the closest point of land as the
cyclone passed around 3am, bringing a top wind gust of 89km/h. By 6pm,
Fay was moving slowly west with a central pressure estimated
at 955hPa, raising it to category 3 status.