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Queensland's wet weather breaks dozens of records as rain still falls

By Kerrin Binnie and Gail Burke, Thursday March 8, 2018 - 11:52 EDT
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Only one access road into Winton remains open. - ABC licensed

Pouring rain has smashed daily records as it saturated Queensland's north and west over the past week.

The flooding and , while also bringing .

But the wet weather isn't over yet.

Where did it fall?

A low moved from north Queensland to the west over the past week.

Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) meteorologist David Crock said there have been some "excellent" totals.

"Through the north-west in the past few days, this tropical low has dumped a lot of rain," Mr Crock said.

"We've seen widespread falls of 150-200 millimetres, up as high as 400mm in some isolated pockets."

Further south towards Winton and Longreach in the central west, totals have been around 80-150mm.

Records smashed

The heavy rain in has smashed six daily rainfall records, while 30 of the bureau's rain gauges broke March records.
Near Mount Isa, Carsland topped 298mm last Saturday, smashing a daily rainfall record set in 1957.
Bluewater, north of Townsville, received 358mm last Thursday, beating the previous daily record of 314mm set in 2002.
North of Townsville, Rollingstone recorded 336mm of rain in the past week and the Yabulu nickel refinery received 367mm.
Last Thursday Mount Margaret topped 305mm, beating the previous record of 294mm.
Trepell Airport, south of Cloncurry, received 171.8mm on Sunday more than double the previous March record of 75.8mm and beating the daily rainfall record of 96.4mm.

It's not over yet

The system that brought the rain is moving further north-west near the Northern Territory border.

Flood warnings are current for 19 rivers while there is major flooding along the Flinders River.

Flooded roads mean supermarket supplies and diesel are in short supply in Mount Isa.

Supermarkets have flown in fresh fruit, vegetables and meat into the town.

Several trucks are stranded at Longreach, Julia Creek and McKinlay, waiting for the roads to open.

BOM Queensland manager Bruce Gunn said the wet weather was not over yet.

"We are seeing widespread flooding in a number of large inland rivers, and these are expected to remain in flood warnings for days and even weeks as floodwaters move through these systems," Mr Gunn said.

"The focus for the heaviest falls has now shifted back to the coast where a flood watch was issued yesterday for coastal catchments from Ingham to Cairns, and extending as far north as Cooktown."


State Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said authorities were prepared for a potential cyclone to affect Queensland in the next week.

BOM is monitoring a low pressure system in the Gulf for signs of it developing into a cyclone.

Mr Crawford said if it formed, there could be some significant falls, which would have consequences.

"It's very, very difficult to know how long some of these areas are going to be cut off [for] and if we might have other areas cut off as well," he said.

"It's going to be a day-by-day process.

"We don't know what the next seven days are going to produce … we're looking at significant rainfalls everywhere from Cairns, Townsville, and even further up into the gulf over the next three to four days."


© ABC 2018

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