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Australian Floods And Heavy Rain

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Surprised this one hasn't had more coverage in here.

Military aircraft are flying supplies into the Australian city of Rockhampton, where rising flood waters have cut off all but one access route. Waters have been gradually submerging parts of the city of 77,000. More than 20 towns in Queensland have been cut off or flooded across an area larger than France and Germany, with more than 200,000 people affected. Authorities have now confirmed three deaths caused by flood waters in the past few days. Officials have said that the crisis could last another month.

"Given the scale and size of this disaster and the prospect that we'll see waters sitting for potentially a couple of weeks... we will continue to have major issues to deal with throughout January," said Queensland Premier Anna Bligh. Rockhampton has already been badly hit, leading many of its inhabitants to flee. The city's airport, a major regional hub, was closed to commercial traffic due to flooded runways, while many main roads and railways into the area have been cut off, and power supplies disrupted. "Today we'll see resupply of Rockhampton by military aircraft taking supplies into Mackay and then road transporting them down to Rockhampton," the state's emergency coordinator, police Deputy Commissioner Ian Stewart, said on Monday. "That will continue until such time as the road is cut."

The water level in the Fitzroy River is expected to reach nine metres (30 feet) on Monday and peak at 9.4 metres on Wednesday, threatening as many as 4,000 homes. One Rockhampton resident told the BBC there had been panic-buying in the city. "Lots of people have been stocking up on fuel. I also heard about one woman who brought 20 loaves of bread from a supermarket," said the resident, Petros Khalesirad.

Rockhampton Mayor Brad Carter has said about 40% of the city could be affected, and warned the floods had swept snakes downstream. "Snakes have been swimming at people's feet as they make their way through the waters," he said. "I know one guy who killed four snakes this morning, one of which was a Taipan - the more it bites, the more it injects venom that could easily kill."

The intense rains have also had an impact on two of the country's principle exports - wheat and coal. More than 50 ships were unable to dock at the major Queensland coal port of Dalrymple while some 18 more were waiting outside the port of Gladstone, which was operating at greatly reduced capacity. As much as half of the country's wheat crop - some 10 million tonnes - have been downgraded to less than milling quality due to the flood damage, Reuters reports. The country is the world's fourth largest exporter of the crop. Also on Monday, two more deaths from the flooding were confirmed. One was a 38-year-old man whose boat was swamped near the mouth of the Boyne River, and the other was a woman whose car was washed off the road west of Emerald.

On Sunday, another woman swept from the road while trying to cross the Leichhardt River became the first confirmed death as a result of recent flooding. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced that grants and low-interest loans would be made available to help local businesses recover from the flooding. "This is a major natural disaster and recovery will take a significant amount of time," she said. "The extent of flooding being experienced by Queensland is unprecedented and requires a national and united response."

However, forecasters cancelled a severe storm warning on Monday, saying the immediate threat had passed.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12105078

Record Rainfall

Australia had its wettest September-to-November period on record and the Bureau of Meteorology says showers and storms are forecast to continue across Queensland until at least Jan. 6. Flood alerts are in place for at least seven rivers in Queensland, the bureau said on its website. States of natural disaster have been declared in more than half of Queensland’s 73 municipalities covering about a million square kilometers. Rockhampton shut its airport to commercial jets after water covered the runway, train links have been cut off and roads to the south and west of the city have been closed. Flood waters are expected to peak at 9.4 meters tomorrow, possibly cutting off road access from the north, police said.

“Major flood levels†will continue for some days, Queensland Police Chief Superintendent Alistair Dawson told reporters in Brisbane today. Black Hawk helicopters may be used for emergency evacuation and food drops in outlying areas, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said yesterday.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-03/australia-s-biblical-floods-to-worsen-as-waters-cut-off-city.html

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I will never complain about it raining 'cats and dogs' again, after all it could be so much worse....

.....it could be Snakes and Crocodiles :o

[Australian residents fled their homes and sandbagged properties Tuesday as a major town was threatened by a worsening flood disaster which unleashed a plague of snakes and crocodiles.

Rumours of crocodile sightings swept the besieged cattle-farming centre northeast of Brisbane, population 75,000, while snakes up to two metres (6.5 feet) long were spotted around the town centre.

The snakes, including highly venomous Taipans, brown snakes and red-bellied blacks, are climbing trees and hiding in people's houses as they search for dry refuge.

Thousands of poisonous cane toads were also spotted around Rockhampton while authorities say the town will also be hit by sandflies and disease-carrying mosquitoes breeding in the standing water.]

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Its pretty crazy down under. I'm guessing this rain must be coming from pretty intense thunderstorms (supercells maybe?) as I dont think theres is or has been any tropical storm activity.

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Incredible how Australia has gone from extreme drought to extreme flooding in such a short space of time. That's nature balancing things out for you though I guess!

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Its pretty crazy down under. I'm guessing this rain must be coming from pretty intense thunderstorms (supercells maybe?) as I dont think theres is or has been any tropical storm activity.

Much of the latest flooding was down to Cyclone Tasha which crossed through over Christmas as a Cat 1 storm - winds weren't bad but it brought a lot very heavy rain. But it's been a wet summer generally - as was predicted.

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Much of the latest flooding was down to Cyclone Tasha which crossed through over Christmas as a Cat 1 storm - winds weren't bad but it brought a lot very heavy rain. But it's been a wet summer generally - as was predicted.

Ahh right, I didnt realise there was a Tropical Cyclone, i try to keep an eye on them but I must have missed Tasha.

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Queensland appoints army commander to lead massive rescue and recovery operation as flood waters finally begin to recede

  • Over 200,000 people affected - an area the size of France and Germany
  • Residents warned not to enter water
  • Snakes, crocodiles and extremely strong currents all dangers
  • Damage will cost hundreds of millions, says prime minister
  • Police step up patrols in affected towns to prevent looting
  • Rivers expected to peak, but it could be a month before waters fully recede

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1343915/Australia-flood-Queenslands-army-commander-leads-massive-rescue-operation.html#ixzz1A9IPLSYL

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Ahh right, I didnt realise there was a Tropical Cyclone, i try to keep an eye on them but I must have missed Tasha.

Aye, it wasn't a very big or long lasting storm and largely passed beneath the radar, especially with it being Christmas. Unfortunately it still brought a lot of rain at the end of what has been the wettest year on record for Queensland

http://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/2010-queenslands-wettest-year-on-record-20110105-19fnx.html

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Ahh right, I didnt realise there was a Tropical Cyclone, i try to keep an eye on them but I must have missed Tasha.

Almost everyone missed it! It was named around 3AM and lasted maybe 12 hours at TC strength, it wasn't well predicted in advance IIRC.

The problems up there will surely be compounded with an above average TC season predicted, and an above average and early start to the Monsoon. They won't be out of the woods till late April.

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Brisbane, Australia - Rescuers searching for dozens of people missing in floodwater west of Brisbane, Australia, have found another body, taking the death toll from recent torrential rain to nine. Fifty-nine people remain missing after a wall of water swept through the town of Toowoomba, about 125 kilometers (80 miles) west of Brisbane, on Monday afternoon, overturning cars and swamping homes with little warning By late Tuesday, three quarters of Queensland had been declared a disaster zone as the rain continued to fall and overwhelm creeks and rivers in the state's south-east.

The Brisbane River, which runs through the capital, broke its banks as residents were warned to brace themselves for the worst flooding since 1974. More than 6,500 homes were at risk of flooding in the next two days, according to forecasts issued by Brisbane City Council.

People in low-lying areas of the city were being urged to move to higher ground Tuesday, and residents were being offered sandbags to protect their property against potential damage. An evacuation center has been set up in the city center to house people forced to abandon their homes. In January 1974, 14 people died after the Brisbane River burst its banks after three weeks of heavy rain, flooding more than 6,000 homes. "This flood event continues to develop and change at a frightening pace," Queensland Premier Anna Bligh told reporters Tuesday. "As more rain continues to fall, local and state-level disaster management personnel are working to ensure the preparedness and safety of the community," she said.

Monday's disaster in Toowoomba was being described as an unprecedented event, where residents received little or no warning of the wall of water racing towards them. Amateur video showed a fast-flowing brown river of water tossing cars down the main street. Four of the nine victims were children who were trapped inside cars with their mothers.

"It was almost like a movie scene - I went to a car park, it's a council car park - and we had cars stacked on top of each other," Toowoomba regional councillor Joe Ramia told national broadcaster, ABC.

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/01/11/australia.floods/?hpt=T1

Australia-flood.jpg

090204-au-flood.jpg

101231-australia-flooding-hmed-540a.grid-6x2.jpg

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quite a few deaths from last nights torrents..

On the radio around 1.00am they were reporting 8 meter high tsunami style waters.

Caught people out in cars and in homes..

Today Brisbane going to get hit badly again.

death toll rising including kids

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There's a live blog here with locals and a few meteorologists on the board mainly, updating the situation by the minute. Authorities expecting 1/3 of Brisbane to be flooded with the main river peaking at 22m. In 74 it got up to 20m, and further rainfall in the area is only exacerbating problems.

Some 59 still missing with 9 confirmed dead, and Brisbane's financial district aswell as housing residents unfortunately expected to bear the brunt of the floodwaters peaks. 9000 homes to be inundated with 30,000 significantly effected is the initial estimate. Assuming the forecast period doesn't get any worse, which unfortunately (as the moisture stream is trailing from Vanuatu) its looking like it will for the evening hours.

http://forum.weatherzone.com.au/ubbthreads.php/topics/926313/174

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Ummm... hi folks. Just to correct a few errors for those in Blighty (my 2nd home). There are no crocs that far south, except maybe at Australia Zoo where they are tying them up in case they try to escape. No need to worry about them when crossing a stream! Snakes are a different story though. Canetoads are not so poisonous that they'll kill you if you look sideways at them. They are fine to be handled as long as you wash your hands.

Flood height of 20m - Ipswich, not Brisbane where the peak will be 4-4.5m. Brisbane has a lot more than 27000 homes, maybe the 1/3 applies to Ipswich as well. More impressive is the rate at which the Wivenhoe dam has filled today - 1cm a minute and its a massive dam! Currently sitting at 175%+ of capacity. The 100% is town storage needs, it has 125% extra to deal with such emergencies. Even so it is about 1m from being next to useless and they have had to let increasing amounts through to protect the dam wall.

Good info over on weatherzone, netweather for downunder.

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AUTHORITIES are warning locals to stay off the Brisbane River, after reports of unmanned yachts and steel pontoons posing a danger in the water.

A Queensland Police spokeswoman said today emergency workers were trying to deal with at least four yachts that had broken free from their moorings near Kangaroo Point.

She said there had also been reports of substantial debris in the rapidly flowing river, including a large steel pontoon measuring about 10 by 5m.

Anyone with a boat on the Brisbane River, which flows through the heart of the city, has been advised to move it either to Moreton Bay or Bramble Bay if it can be navigated safely.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/floodrelief/stay-off-brisbane-river-locals-warned-amid-queensland-floods-crisis/story-fn7ik2te-1225985852937#ixzz1Aj7xf0Su

I read somewhere today that people were trapped in a house and were heard screaming as it floated downstream. And one of those massive milk vats was washed away from a dairy farm. Saw video footage of cars being swept away in Toowoomba.

If anything of this proportion happens in Sydney the death toll could well be in the thousands, especially in the Penrith & Blacktown local government areas as they are built on floodplain and are the closest to Warragamba Dam.

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Geoff Mackley is on his way into Brisbane from New Zealand. It'll be a "domestic" flight, I'm not sure the duration of flights between the two countries but I'd imagine he'd be on the scene within the next few hours. Awaiting the encroaching floodwaters, and giving up to date damage videos when they eventually arrive.

http://www.geoffmackley.com/

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Live news stream working in UK

http://www.abc.net.au/news/abcnews24/

Just listened to a local met forecaster who only parroted the statement the met put out at 12am couldnt even give an update said wait for th enew release at 8am - typical

Current peaks around Brisbane are higher than expected but not by much - however the main dam is loosing the battle and planning to release 638,000 megalitres today

A lot of water !

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Wivenhoe at 74.81 and rising at around 1cm per minute. They will obviously have to open gates again, as 75.3 is when the fuses go. The dam is not designed for overspill either, so right now its a fine balancing act.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRv5RTUAP_U

Brisbane residents have been told it is not too late to evacuate as a once-in-a-century flood threatens 20,000 homes tonight. More than 50 suburbs are expected to be flooded when the Brisbane River hits an expected peak of 5.2 metres at about 4:00am on Thursday. Already thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes after the swollen river burst its banks and rose past 4 metres on Wednesday. Infrastructure was destroyed, 35 suburbs were deluged, and Lord Mayor Campbell Newman warned sewage was seeping into the floodwaters after treatment plants were inundated.

Councillor Newman said the city's ferry terminals had been "smashed to pieces" while council engineers were forced to demolish the floating RiverWalk around the New Farm cliffs amid fears that it would break away and career downstream. The Brisbane River was a swirling torrent, with boats, pontoons and other debris being swept towards the sea and muddy water inundating low-lying areas. The flooding was caused by water surging downstream from the overloaded Wivenhoe Dam meeting a larger than usual high tide. Authorities warn of a growing risk of disease, including Ross River Fever, hepatitits and gastroenteritis, as the floods linger into the weekend. Councillor Newman was pleading with locals to heed flood warnings tonight.

"Please, if the water's coming your way, it's not too late, you need to make a decision about evacuation or trying to sandbag," he said. "People shouldn't muck around. If they're on the flood map, if their street is on the list, make the decision to get out." Amid the havoc and tragedy, there was some good news today. Two people who were swept away by the floods in the Lockyer Valley were found alive in what police hailed as a "miracle".

The floodwaters in the city of Ipswich peaked two metres shy of the forecast, saving hundreds of homes. But more than 3,000 Ipswich homes and businesses were swamped, with about one-third of the city affected. A quick reduction in Wivenhoe Dam releases may have saved some Brisbane homes, with hydrologists saying water level readings at Mt Crosby, upstream of Brisbane, suggest the flood may fall short of the 1974 mark. But 12 people are confirmed dead, and grave fears are held for at least nine more, as authorities continue the grim search for bodies in the Lockyer Valley.

Assistant Commissioner Steve Gollschewski says it is certain the death toll will rise as crews search the area ravaged by an "inland tsunami" late on Monday. "It is our belief there will be further victims," he warned. The homicide squad has been called in to help with the search for victims. More than 3,500 people are in evacuation centres in Ipswich and Brisbane. Flood victims have been pulling up at an evacuation centre at Brisbane's RNA Showgrounds, their cars full of whatever they had been able to salvage. Many were carrying mattresses, bags and pillows and their faces were numb as the shock sunk in.

Brisbane's CBD was a ghost town on Wednesday, with the Riverside Expressway closed after floodwaters rose to within 2 metres of the road, and most of the Queen Street Mall closed. Sandbags lined shops at the lower end of the mall and also businesses in the surrounding streets. Bridges across the river were all closed. Police evacuated whole city blocks and more than 120,000 people were without power as Energex crews shut down the electricity grid in low-lying areas. In the southern inland, further west, petrol was being rationed in a number of communities and those in Dalby and Chinchilla are waiting on a second flood peak. Chinchilla experienced a 7.5 metre peak at Charleys Creek today, with up to 70 properties affected

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/01/12/3111596.htm?section=justin

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A friend in Toowoomba just told me that there are now reports of Bullsharks are making their way into the Brisbane and Ipswich areas, also sewerage is now contaminatinging some waters. I was wondering how long it would be before there were shark sightings :(

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I was wondering how long it would be before there were shark sightings :(

Reported by a resident to the BBC World Service too:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12169218

330327-grantham-floods-bridge.jpg

BRISBANE is besieged by the flood of the century, with more than 30,000 properties to be inundated tomorrow. Police were on the streets enforcing evacuations as the death toll from the "inland tsunami" that triggered the crisis continued to climb. The Queensland capital is now the scene of a natural disaster unprecedented in contemporary Australia. The Brisbane River was due to reach 5.2m on a 4am high tide, 30cm down on the predicted peak, but approaching the mark set in the devastating 1974 floods that claimed 14 lives.

The danger to the city's two million residents was reinforced by the climbing death toll in Lockyer Valley communities to the west, hit on Monday by flash floods that ripped through mountain-top Toowoomba and cascaded down the range. As search-and-rescue teams combed wrecked homes, creeks and mud-coated bushland in the shattered towns of Grantham, Postmans Ridge and Murphys Creek, Premier Anna Bligh said 12 people were confirmed dead and 43 remained missing. This was revised down from 90 overnight.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/queensland-floods/floodwaters-show-brisbane-no-mercy-as-death-toll-reaches-12/story-fn7iwx3v-1225986715968

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More incredible footage from Brisbane:

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thank you for your updates and ,the livestreaming ,it's so sad and the power of nature is amazing in a scary way ,i feel for everyone who has lost family, homes and livestock

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I'm somewhat freaked to see places that I've happily pottered about in suffering so badly - the destruction of the landing stages for the ferries/city cats is going to make transport a nightmare for some time. It looks like the Gabba might have been hit, too, making it staging the cricket ODI at the end of the month unlikely.

On top of all the damage to the infrastructure, there is also the probable toll on wildlife - the parts of the riverside that aren't developed are havens for koalas, wallabies and possums, and there are all sorts of lizards - such as goannas - that won't be able to escape.

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