Monday, February 18, 2008

Here we go again


“Based on the observed Tartrus peak of about 15.7 metres during Sunday evening, the Fitzroy River at Rockhampton is expected to peak at about 7.7 metres on Sunday 24th February.”

Bureau of Meteorology flood warning, 2/18/08

Barely three weeks after the last flood, it looks like we’re in for another one, of approximately the same level—the last one peaked at 7.55 metres. The flood plain has been exactly that for the last four weeks, & whatever evaporation & seepage there has been is counterbalanced by about 250mm — 10 inches — of rain over the last week. So there’s still water everywhere, still some roads closed.

But about four hundred kilometres north, the catchment area of several of the tributaries that flow into the Fitzroy, they’ve had something over a metre of rain in the last week. The monsoon trough, the annual meteorological event that causes the wet season in northern Australia, has moved much further south than it has done for many, many years. 80% of the land area of Queensland is now eligible for flood relief, & there’s still more rain to come.The amount of rain that fell on Mackay has been described as a once in at least a century event. 1200 mm, about 50 inches, of rain, & half of it in one six hour period.

& all that runoff is now moving downstream, to spread even more water across the plain.

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