Queensland experiences flash flooding in some areas, ‘Traumatised’ northern NSW on edge
Posted On May 10, 2022
Parts of Queensland are experiencing flash flooding as torrential rain lashes the coast, putting flood-affected communities in northern New South Wales on edge as authorities warn of a potential deluge.
Flash-flooding has occurred in low-lying areas of Townsville on the Far North Queensland coast after intense rainfall swept into the area.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) said the coastal community was hit with 105mm in 60 minutes.
Highways around Charters Towers have also been closed due to flash flooding, including the Leichhardt Highway.
Weatherzone branded the deluge “unseasonable” and said a number of transport routes between townships have been cut.
“In the 24 hours to 9am on Tuesday, Carisbrooke Station (southwest of Winton) picked up 156 mm and The Boulders, near Innisfail, collected 115 mm. Longreach (17mm), Julia Creek (29mm), Normanton (30mm) and Blackall (10mm) all had their heaviest May rain in about 8 to 12 years during the same period,” Weatherzone said.
The weather system is slowing tracking south and will impact Mackay today, where 100 mm of rain is forecast.
Two people had to be rescued from Mount Ossa in Mackay after a vehicle became submerged in floodwaters at Surprise Creek Road this morning.
Queensland Ambulance said “two stable patients, one with no obvious injuries and another with a head laceration, are being assessed.”
Mackay mayor Greg Williamson said “100mm over a couple hours” would put low-lying areas at risk.
“(There’s) a forecast of 10 inches (25 centimetres) over the next couple of days,” he said.
“That’s a little bit of a concern, depends on how intense it falls.
“We’re ready, as ready as we can be as a community. We are used to this sort of thing, probably not in May but we are used to it.
“We’ve had up to 10 inches in May before, but the prolonged period and this massive cell that’s moving down the coast, yeah, it’s pretty weird.”
Williamson said wind gusts pose another risk for the sugar and mining town.
“That’s another additional problem that we’ve got to deal with, particularly with the cane crops, (that’s) about a month away from the start of the crush. We don’t want it all falling over.”
Half the state remains on flood watch and a severe weather warning is out for the northern Central Coast.
People in parts of Herbert and Lower Burdekin and Central Coast and Whitsundays Forecast Districts are on alert for heavy rain, which may lead to flash flooding.
“Six-hourly rainfall totals between 100 to 150 mm are possible,” BoM said.
“The risk of heavy rain is expected to ease during this morning as the trough moves offshore.”
The system has also seen massive swell develop off the coast, with Gold Coast battered by waves of four to five metres.
The Sunshine Coast recorded one six metre wave.
Winds of 60 -70km/h have “howled” through the Gold Coast.
“It’s making the proximate temperature here on the Gold Coast feel about seven degrees cooler,” 9News reporter Mia Glover said.
“So it is very, very chilly this morning”.
However, the BoM has revised its rain forecast for Queensland’s southeast; 40mm is expected today on the Gold Coast and 80mm for Brisbane.
“It says we will get rain but it won’t be as bad as what we have seen north and inland,” Glover said.
Outback Queensland drenched for second time in weeks
‘Anxious, traumatised’ NSW communities on edge
As the “unpredictable” system makes its way down the coast, the BoM said showers will be felt across most of NSW today.
The heaviest falls are expected in the northwest before moving inland on Thursday.
NSW State Emergency Service (SES) said they are on standby, preparing for possible rain and flooding should rain extend into northern NSW; an area which has flooded twice this year.
It explained recent weather events and high soil moisture levels increases the risk of flooding and landslips remains for northern NSW “in the coming days”.
NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York acknowledges the news of more potential rain may be extremely unsettling for the Northern NSW communities.
“We understand that the current weather system may be causing concern for many people in the Northern Rivers. Recent events have left our communities, not only devastated but also traumatised and anxious,” she said.
“It is important to acknowledge that this anxiety exists, especially considering recent events. It is normal to be feeling this way. You are not over-reacting or being silly.
“We are hoping that the rainfall predictions are accurate and that the rain coming is not significant. But please know our NSW SES volunteers are prepared, and stand ready to work with their communities once again.”
However, the La Niña weather event which has caused the wet weather across Australia could come to an end by early winter, BoM said yesterday.
The prediction comes as waters are warming to neutral El Niño – Southern Oscillation (ENSO) levels. ENSO has little influence on rainfall meaning Australia could soon see an end to the unprecedented downpours.
Residents are advised to stay across BoM forecasts and NSW SES updates in the meantime.