By Faith Eherts and Adam Douty
2 February 2019
(AccuWeather) – Record-setting rainfall in recent days has led to widespread flooding, land slips, road closures and evacuations across Queensland. Flood dangers and travel disruptions will continue with little change expected in the coming week.
In northern Queensland this past week, Cairns recorded a daily rainfall of 277 mm (10.91 inches). This is the most rain the city has had in a single day in more than a decade. Cairns ended January with 499 percent of their normal rainfall for the month.
Wet weather continued for the start of February with 85 mm (3.35 inches) of rain falling on Friday, nearly a quarter of the monthly rainfall.
North of Cairns, the Daintree River reached an all-time record height last weekend with a peak of 12.6 meters (41.3 feet) on Saturday night, according to The Guardian.
“As well as breaking records for a region no stranger to wet seasons, the floodwaters have cut roads and power, damaged infrastructure such as water and sewerage lines, and isolated vulnerable communities,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
She described the event as “unprecedented” and compared it to a rainfall event in January 1998, when the remnants of Cyclone Sid dropped over 570 mm (20 inches) of rain in Townsville in under 10 hours. Hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes as three meters (nearly 10 feet) of water rushed through the town. [more]
27 January 2019 (Australian Associated Press) – Hundreds of people remain cut off after a deluge pushed far-north Queensland’s Daintree River to a record level.
The river peaked at close to 12.6 metres on Saturday night, breaking a record that stood for 118 years.
Ferry infrastructure was severely damaged and authorities said the crossing could be out for two days.
A herd of cows was washed out to sea from upper Daintree village, the ABC reported. Some were found roaming the beach, but others were found washed up, despite efforts to rescue them by people in tinnies and on jetskis.
Almost 500mm of rain fell on the river in 24 hours – 300mm of that in just six hours.
Water charging down the crocodile-infested river dislodged a ticket booth, ripped a public pontoon from its footings and swept away a water tank at a block of toilets.
“This is a difficult situation … we ask everyone to be patient as Douglas Shire recovers from widespread monsoonal rain and the biggest Daintree River flood in 118 years,” the mayor, Julia Leu, said. [more]
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