Bundaberg rainfall breaks 64-year record
The deluge that hit central Queensland has broken a 64-year record for Bundaberg, with the city receiving seven times its October rain average well before the month’s end.
A Bureau of Meteorology spokesman said Bundaberg had received 519mm of rain already this month, well in excess of the previous record of 280mm set in 1953.
Areas between Bundaberg and Gladstone received staggering amounts of rainfall in just seven days with Westwood Range at 519mm and Miriam Vale 512mm.
Baffle Creek residents in low-lying areas were forced to leave their homes on Wednesday with Gladstone Regional Council acting as a directory for those in need of updated flood information.
Senior hydrologist Charlotte Faulkner said the major flood warning for Baffle Creek peaked overnight, with 14.3 metres of water recorded at Essendean Bridge.
“The water is receding today, we expect the flood warning to fall from major to moderate later today or early Friday,” she said.
Trains from Brisbane to Bundaberg were disrupted by floods on Wednesday and a train from Brisbane to Longreach on Thursday was cancelled due to the severe weather conditions.
Flood warnings remain in place for parts of central Queensland, with eight schools and four child care centres closed on Thursday as a result of the wild weather conditions.
There were more than 70 road closures across Gladstone, Wide Bay and Burnett and the Sunshine Coast areas, due to heavy rainfall and flash flooding.
A total of 13 dams across south-east Queensland and the Wide Bay-Burnett region were above their storage capacity and spilling on Thursday.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk met with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, Queensland Police Service and Bureau of Meteorology on Thursday morning to discuss the ongoing response and preparedness for more rain over the coming days.
“Currently two-thirds of Queensland is drought declared. We have needed prolonged soaking rain for months, particularly for our farms and water storages,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“However, the significant rain, in excess of 500 millimetres in some areas, has caused flash flooding and I urge all motorists to heed the warning – it’s flooded, forget it.”
Three extra Swift Water Rescue teams were on standby at Gympie, Maryborough and Bundaberg.
Three property owners in Lowmead, south of Gladstone, self-relocated to alternative accommodation due to flooding.
The SES received 76 calls for help on Wednesday, mainly from around the Bundaberg area, from people seeking assistance with sandbagging and leaking roofs.
That is down from earlier in the week when about 200 requests were lodged daily.
The easing weather conditions should bring a reprieve to locals but the upper low system has moved further north where Cairns, Tully, Innisfail and Ingham have been hard hit.
Between 185-195mm fell in some towns in the region in the 24 hours to 9am on Thursday.
Swift water rescue teams moved into far north Queensland bases, where 2052 homes have been left without power due to the wild weather.