Flash flood­ing risk with more rain likely

Townsville Bulletin - - Inside Today - by Emily Mac­don­ald

PARTS of North Queens­land are at risk of flash flood­ing to­day with the po­ten­tial for heavy falls from yes­ter­day evening pre-dicted to con­tinue.

A se­vere weather warn­ing ad­vis­ing the risk of flash flood­ing from Cook­town to Bowen was cur­rent last night.

In the eight hours since 9am Sun­day 130mm had al­ready been reg­is­tered at Paluma Dam while 60mm had fallen at Poverty Hill south of Ing­ham. Bu­reau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy Townsvill e fore­caster Mario Tor­risi s ai d a mon­soon t r ough across the far north had a trop­i­cal low em­bed­ded in it in­land of Cook­town.

He said it was the con­ver­gence of airstreams be­tween the mon­soon trough and a firm coastal ridge ex­tend­ing north­wards from a large high pres­sure sys­tem in the Tas­man Sea which was ex­pected to pro­duce the in­creased rain­fall.

‘‘ This has the po­ten­tial to pro­duce bands of heavy rain over the next cou­ple of days in ar­eas ini­tially north of the Whit­sun­days, and par­tic­u­larly north of Townsville,’’ Mr Tor­risi said.

‘‘ But we think the heavy rain will more than likely have con­tracted to the north of the Townsville area by to­mor­row. ‘‘ It’s dif­fi­cult to say ex­actly how much rain will fall but to­tals may cer­tainly be size­able enough to pro­duce some flash flood­ing.’’

Mr Tor­risi said the bu­reau was closely mon­i­tor­ing the sit­u­a­tion in case fur­ther flood warn­ings had to be is­sued.

‘‘ The streams north of Townsville could be at the great­est risk as this is where the heav­i­est falls are pre­dicted to oc­cur. We’re also ex­pe­ri­enc­ing f airly windy con­di­tions. A tight pres­sure gra­di­ent ex­ists be- tween the large high and the mon­soon trough re­sult­ing in fresh to oc­ca­sion­ally strong and gusty winds over land. A strong wind warn­ing is cur­rent for lo­cal coastal waters."

Mr Tor­risi said the trop­i­cal low in­land of Cook­town posed no threat of de­vel­op­ment into a cy­clone. How­ever the mon­soon trough is ex­pected to re­main ac­tive into the new week and will con­tinue to be closely mon­i­tored.

BoM s enior f ore­caster Gor­don Banks said a sec­ond low was pro­duc­ing soggy con­di­tions and flood­ing in west­ern Queens­land. All roads have been closed in the Dia­mantina Shire which takes in the towns of Birdsville and Be­dourie and nor­mally gets an av­er­age yearly rain­fall of 200mm.

‘‘ It pro­duced ex­ces­sively heavy rain­fall over parts of the Chan­nel Coun­try overnight,’’ Mr Banks said.

‘‘ The high­est read­ing we have is . . . 313mm at Be­dourie. That’s a record for Be­dourie.’’

Emer­gency Man­age­ment Queens­land area di­rec­tor El­liott Dunn it was for­tu­nate the wa­ter was re­ally slow mov­ing and Be­dourie was pro­tected by a levee bank while Birdsville was on higher ground.

‘‘ Ev­ery road in the shire is cut, all the main ac­cess roads are dirt,’’ he said.

‘‘ They’ll have enough food for prob­a­bly the next month and then af­ter that we can fly more in if we need to.’’

Photo: SUZANNE LOWE

WEATHER WARN­ING: Christine Wood, 13, of Kelso, Kayla Hoban, 13, of Kir­wan, and Keanii Lank­ford, 13, of Kir­wan, didn’t let the blus­tery con­di­tions spoil their fun on The Strand yes­ter­day

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