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BOM warns of flooding as WA's south coast gets first rain in years

By Tom Edwards and John Dobson, Monday August 3, 2020 - 17:36 EST
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Crop and livestock producer Shane Davy, who farms in Wellstead, said the rain was a godsend. - ABC

South coast farmers have recorded their first significant rainfall in years, with the Bureau of Meteorology warning of potential flooding overnight.



An unusual low-pressure system has dumped more than 50mm in some areas between Albany and Ravensthorpe.

It is a welcome sight for farmers in the region who have been battling some of the driest conditions in recent years.

A severe weather warning remains in place, with Bremer Bay recording 48mm of rain in just six hours.

Craig and Naomi Hall farm near Gairdner — about 150km north-east of Albany — once considered some of the best agricultural land in the Great Southern, it has been one of the region's driest places recently.

"I haven't cried this much in a long time — it's very overwhelming, it's been a long time coming," Ms Hall said.





Wellstead farmer says rain on roof 'nice'



The Halls reduced their breeding stock from 3,000 ewes to 400 and had to cart water as their dams were dry, but today their dams started filling up.

"Over the last couple of years there's been forecast and nothing eventuated…when it started this morning, we were pretty happy," Ms Hall said.

"I have actually cried a lot this morning…my two-year-old daughter climbed into bed and asked what the noise was. I told her, that's rain.

"I look out the window and see puddles, it's amazing."

In nearby Wellstead, crop and livestock producer Shane Davy said 30mm had fallen by midday on Monday, with more forecast.



"It's a very nice feeling to hear rain on the roof again, it's been a while," he said.

"It's the heaviest rain since 2017.

"It was hasn't been a very feel-good radar this year…I'll be looking at it with a big smile on my face today."

The BOM predicts heavy rainfall and potential flooding along the south coast into Tuesday morning.

A gale warning is in place along much of WA's southern coast.


- ABC

© ABC 2020

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