Flood fears as rain pours
THE forecast for more heavy rain in the Herbert region early next week could deliver the district its fifth flood since Christmas, cutting roads to the north and south of Ingham.
In the 24 hours to 9am yesterday, I ngham Pump Station recorded 203mm, Gairloch 201mm, Trebonne 1 8 1 mm, Ha wk i n s C r e e k 172mm, Victoria Sugar Mill 166mm, Halifax 188mm, Ingham Depot 175mm, Lucinda 148mm, Cardwell Gap alert 144mm, Upper Stone 142mm, Ca r d wel l Ra n g e 1 3 6 mm, Abergowrie Bridge al ert 126mm, Poverty Hill 110mm, Na s h s C r o s s i n g 1 1 3 mm, Abergowrie alert 102mm and Gowrie Creek 84mm.
Falls ranging from 1mm to 5mm were recorded in the Herbert’s catchment from 9am to 2.30pm yesterday.
Cassowary Coast Council Mayor Bill Shannon said 20 homes were underwater in Cardwell and Kennedy, and local people were doing it tough with rain still bucketing down.
‘‘ It’s very hard, a month after the cyclone. Locals are going through a lot of anxiety with insurance companies and they just don’t need this extra drama,’’ Mr Shannon said.
He said the water was slow t o r e c e d e b e c a us e t r e e s brought down by the cyclone were blocking creeks, and s o me d r a i n s w e r e s t i l l clogged by sand and debris.
‘‘ We’ve cleaned a lot of it, but we haven’t had a chance to do it all,’’ he said.
Council crews would be sent out to clean and flush the drains as soon as the waters receded.
Townsville meteorologist Doug Fraser said heavy rain had eased off overnight Tuesday, but more shower activity was forecast into the weekend.
Mr Fraser said the bureau had adjusted their severe weather warning to north of Lucinda. ‘‘ That’s where the more intense rainfall is still likely to cause ing,’’ he said.
‘‘ But there is still rain through the Herbert region catchment and we are expecting to see further rain but not the really intense rainfall that we have had over the last few days.’’
Mr Fraser said the rainfall was due to a monsoon trough lying to the north of Ingham feeding strong south-easterly winds i nto t he monsoon trough.
And while there are no tropical cyclones close to the east coast at the moment, Mr Fraser said an inland low over the Northern Territory was expected to join the monsoon trough that caused the recent flood.
‘‘ We are looking at more rain over the foreseeable future and especially into the late weekend and early next week, ( when) we could see a return of the heavier rains, so it’s basically a repeat of the sort of weather that was responsible for the heavier rain over the last few days,’’ he said.
‘‘ We’ve got another big high-pressure system coming in down to the south and that’s going to be feeding into the monsoon trough again and more likely the north tropical coast and the Cairns region are going to pick up the heavier rain in the shortterm, but into Sunday/ Monday we might see it returning to the Ingham district.’’
Mr Fraser said the only saving grace would be the event would be ‘‘ fairly shortlived’’ after the high moved through and down to the south, but residents should not be complacent with the wet season still active.
‘‘ Our wet season can last through well into April, so we still have another month of wet season left,’’ he said.
‘‘ So ( there is) still time for tropical low or cyclone develo p me n t t h r o u g h t o t h e middle of April.’’
Describing the state’s wet season as ‘‘ big’’, Mr Fraser said most areas of Queensland had been inundated with heavy rain falls.