Australia

Wet end to 2020 as dozens of roads closed

More than 60 roads are cut across Queensland due to flooding as some towns recorded more than 100mm of rain in an hour overnight. In Waraghai, west of Warwick in southeast Queensland, the rain gauge totalled 148mm in the 24 hours to 9am on Wednesday, 103mm of which fell in just one hour on Tuesday.Further…

More than 60 roads are cut across Queensland due to flooding as some towns recorded more than 100mm of rain in an hour overnight.

In Waraghai, west of Warwick in southeast Queensland, the rain gauge totalled 148mm in the 24 hours to 9am on Wednesday, 103mm of which fell in just one hour on Tuesday.

Further north near Mackay, Paget recorded 159mm in 24 hours, while Trafalgar Station, near Charters Towers, received 136mm.

The mammoth falls have forced 64 roads across the state closed, with Queensland’s peak motoring body warning motorists against driving through floodwaters.

RACQ spokeswoman Clare Hunter said the rainfall had been welcomed in many parts of the region, but the warning was the same: Never drive through floodwaters.

“We’re seeing roads cut from Mount Isa, across to Cloncurry and all the way down to Goondiwindi due to the ongoing rains,” Ms Hunter said.

“Our RACQ LifeFlight choppers have conducted two dramatic rescues already this week to save the lives of people stranded by floodwater, and we don’t want to see anyone else putting themselves at risk.

“No matter how often you drive these roads, or how familiar they are to you, wet weather can change them in an instant.”

As a result of recent rain, Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist James Thompson said some smaller rivers and creeks had reached minor flood levels.

“That is starting to get into the streams, which does help dam levels,” he said.

After Tuesday’s heavy falls, Mr Thompson said it was possible parts of the state could be hit with more rain on Wednesday.

“Maybe not quite as widespread, the falls will be a bit more focused today through the Central and Capricornia districts into the Central Highlands, which will see some scattered, heavy rainfall,” Mr Thompson said.

Rain is set to continue into the New Year, with north Queensland to bear the brunt.

“There is an equatorial trough sitting over north Queensland. That tropical air mass will see isolated storms expected for the next few days for large parts of Tropical North Queensland,” he said.

“That will hang around through to weekend.

“Around the southeast we are starting to see cloud increase. There will be a few showers around over the next coming days.”

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