Cy­clone pushes Qld dams to limit

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - Owen Jac­ques

QUEENS­LAND dams are be­ing pushed far be­yond their lim­its as Cy­clone Deb­bie’s flood­ing rains pour in, forc­ing dam man­agers to con­sider when and how to re­lease wa­ter.

Out­side of Mackay, Sun­wa­ter’s Kin­chant Dam went from 98% full to now top­ping 115% full in a lit­tle over 24 hours as Trop­i­cal Cy­clone Deb­bie pre­pared to make land­fall.

It is now hold­ing 10,000 me­gal­itres – or 10,000 mil­lion litres – be­yond its marked ca­pac­ity.

The smaller Mi­rani Weir – fed by Mackay’s Pi­o­neer River – has ex­ploded from 119% ca­pac­ity where it had just 500ML above its max­i­mum, to now be­ing at 386% ca­pac­ity. At full, the weir is de­signed to hold 2800ML.

It was hold­ing more than 10,000ML of wa­ter as of 8am on Wed­nes­day.

To the north, Peter Faust Dam had more than 11,000ML flow into the dam in one day, push­ing it to 306,000ML or about 62% ca­pac­ity.

Glad­stone’s Awoonga Dam is at 85% ca­pac­ity with up to 70mm fore­cast.

In the south-east, Wappa Dam on the Sun­shine Coast is al­ready over­flow­ing and spilling over the dam wall. And that’s as the Bureau of Me­te­o­rolgy pre­dicts that 90-200mm could fall in the area to­mor­row.

Both Sun­wa­ter and SEQWater have been ap­proached for com­ment.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

TROU­BLE: Wappa Dam spilling af­ter rain.

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