Wet season’s final flurry
A MOTHER and four young children were last night plucked to safety in a daring rescue from waist-deep water in their Mount Low home as heavy rain pounded the city.
Police commandeered a quad bike to get the stricken residents to safety as their Svensson Rd home became awash with fl oodwater.
They took almost an hour to complete the rescue but had everyone on dry land by 6.30pm. Bushland Beach, Magnetic Island, Ingham, Rollingstone and Paluma recorded 300mm of rain yesterday as fl ash fl ooding cut roads and highways, forcing some schools to send children home early.
A severe weather warning remains current for widespread heavy rain leading to fl ash fl ooding at the Bohle River at Herveys Range Rd and Louisa Creek.
Late last night water levels were rising fast at Black River and Bluewater Creek with major fl ooding predicted in those areas.
Flash flooding yesterday caused chaos on Magnetic Island with reports of large rocks covering the road at Horseshoe Bay and Arcadia and Gustav Creek lapping the bridge on Sooning St after the creek broke its banks.
The Bushland Beach pub was transformed into a temporary island retreat after more than 200mm fell in eight hours.
Bushland Beach resident Terry Trickett was amazed to find his local watering hole under water as he went for an afternoon stroll.
‘ ‘ The water was waist-deep through the car park so there is no way to get in there,’’ Mr Trickett said.
Northern suburbs received the brunt of the rain with Bushland Beach registering 222mm from 9am to 5pm yesterday, followed by Black River with 219mm. Both suburbs had received 75mm between midnight and 9am.
The Bruce Highway was reduced to single lanes at Francis Creek and Cattle Creek. Police were called to control traffic at Jensen as close to 40cm of water spilled over both lanes of the Bruce Highway at Veales Rd.
The monsoonal weather wreaked havoc al ong Townsville’s northern suburbs with low-lying businesses and homes inundated along Mount Low Parkway.
Motorists are being warned today to be careful at notorious weather ‘‘ black spots’ such as Blakeys Crossing, the Bohle and Shaws Road. Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Dr Greg Connor said the downpour had caused widespread flooding.
‘‘ We’re predicting the rain band to clear today, but we could still see further heavy rainfall for areas north of Townsville,’’ he said. North Queensland is bracing for more wet weather over the next week with a tropical low forming off the coast gradually intensifying over the next 48 hours.
The latest downpour comes as statistics show Australia recorded its second wettest summer on record.
The unprecedented wet weather experienced from late November 2010 to mid January 2011 resulted in flooding across Queensland.
The conditions continued in February with a state-average rainfall for the month of 132.87mm, above the long -term average of 115.61mm.
Areas north of Townsville recorded above average rainfall across the board with Innisfail topping the charts with 831.2mm followed closely by Ingham with 769.1mm for the month.
The wettest single day was recorded at Hawkins Creek north of Ingham with 464.0mm on the day Cyclone Yasi hit near Mission Beach.
The Weather Channel’s Tom Saunders said one of the strongest La Nina events on record was to blame and all states and territories had above average falls.
FLOODED... The Bushland Beach Tavern carpark was under water after heavy rain but there was no stopping Glenn Fischer from getting to the bar
HARD SLOG: Machinery goes against the flow as water floods through the BOC Building in Garbutt