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Western Qld graziers celebrate storm rain

By Chrissy Arthur, Friday November 29, 2013 - 14:34 EDT

More storm activity in Queensland's drought-stricken west is forecast, as some graziers celebrate the first decent rain they have seen in more than a year.

Patchy storm rain has fallen from the Gulf of Carpentaria down to south-west Queensland, including in towns like Eulo and Cunnamulla.

There was also 61 millimetres of rain reported at Mount Pleasant near Hughenden, and 67mm on a property north of Boulia.

Murray Tramby-White manages a place north-west of Winton and says 102mm there will get the property out of trouble.

"We haven't had substantial rain here for about 18 months," he said.

While across the board, the rain has not been drought-breaking, graziers say it has lifted spirits.

Maria Fisher from the Longreach weather bureau says most of the state is covered in cloud today.

"Unfortunately there is not a huge amount of rain in that cloud," she said.

Ms Fisher says some places may get heavier falls but it is coming from scattered and isolated storm activity as opposed to a rainband.

'Like winning lotto'

A Boulia grazier says more widespread rain will be needed to break the drought but overnight falls will make a big difference.

Kalinda Cluff, from north of Boulia, reported almost 70mm of rain.

She says she is not sure how much of the property got under the storms.

"We were blessed with a 67mm fall, so that might save our cows," she said.

"We will be able to move some of our cows that are on the black soil part, and they will live.

"It is like winning gold lotto.

"Sometimes storm rain can be in a small area, but because our neighbours have had 40mm to the east, and 53mm to the south, we are hoping that it is pretty general sort of rain."

Celebrating in the street

In south-west Queensland, Eulo received 21mm and Cunnamulla 35mm.

The Bulloo Mayor John Ferguson was at a function in Cunnamulla when the rain started to fall last night.

"The rain on the roof, everyone left the dinner and tore outside and got wet, because it is the first time they've been wet from rain for quite a few months," he said.

"There was a lot of excitement last night about that."

Cunnamulla grazier Adrian Schmidt reported 25mm and says the rain will especially help graziers who are harvesting mulga to feed stock.

"It just improved everyone's outlook - it can rain, maybe there'll be another storm next week," he said.

"Anyone who is pushing a bit of scrub, if they can get 25mm, it'll freshen your mulga up."

Councillor Ferguson says much more rain is needed.

"Cunnamulla is very, very dry," he said.

"We are dry at home at Thargomindah but Cunnamulla is not good at all.

"It is terrible, and there are a lot of people down in the dumps at the moment and they have got a right to be.

"But this has got to help.

"It will settle the dust, wash the dust off the mulga and gives you a bit of hope I suppose."


© ABC 2013

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