Drenched

Wet sea­son’s fi­nal flurry

Townsville Bulletin - - Front Page - Ryan Mathe­son From page 1

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.

Photo: EVAN MOR­GAN

FLOODED... The Bush­land Beach Tav­ern carpark was un­der wa­ter af­ter heavy rain but there was no stop­ping Glenn Fis­cher from get­ting to the bar

Photo: SUZANNE LOWE

HARD SLOG: Ma­chin­ery goes against the flow as wa­ter floods through the BOC Build­ing in Gar­butt

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