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13 Dec 2014, 4:55 AM UTC

Heavy rain in central Queensland celebrated as 'a blessing' for drought-declared areas

Heavy rain in central Queensland celebrated as 'a blessing' for drought-declared areas
Source: ABC
Heavy rain has brought nearly half a year's worth of rain to some parts of Central Queensland, with the Banana Shire mayor rejoicing at the grass greening for only the third time this year. Storms across the interior have swollen rivers, cut roads, and prompted a flood watch for catchments from Rockhampton to Hervey Bay. Thangool in the Banana Shire received about 300 millimetres in the last week. Mayor Ron Carige said the deluge would be a tremendous asset for the region, which was drought declared in March. "While there are a few issues with the roads, and some crops have gone under, in the long run it will be fantastic for the rural sector," he said. "It is a blessing in the long term for everyone on the land. "It looks beautiful, it's green already. It was desolate before that." Some parts of the expansive shire had received about the same amount of rain in the last week than they had all year, but the south-west of the region was still dry. North-west of the Banana Shire, Middlemount received 100 millimetres, one of the heaviest falls, in the 24 hours to 9am (AEST) Saturday. Further south, storms overnight brought 97mm to Mitchell and 59mm to Injune. Early on Saturday morning, a woman was rescued from her car after it became trapped in water at Kabra, west of Rockhampton. Swift water rescue walked the woman to safety about 3:30am (AEST) after her car became stuck. Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Michelle Berry said severe storms could also develop on Saturday afternoon across central Queensland. A moderate flood is predicted for the Dawson River and minor flood warnings have been issued for the Calliope, Boyne, Kolan, Baffle Creek and Burnett River. A severe thunderstorm was also the Gulf region on Saturday afternoon, and was due to produce damaging winds in the warning area into Saturday night.