BIG WET from NORTH WEST to TOWNSVILLE
After enduring months of searing heat and lack of rain, communities and residents across the MITEZ corridor had been watching weather forecasts and the BOM radar hoping to see signs of a monsoon developing in the north, at the same time praying for a long overdue wet season to arrive.
After weeks of delivering huge rainfall along the North Queensland coast, by Friday February 1 the long-awaited monsoon had spread across much of the northern inland and had begun dropping significant rainfall. Major roads began to close, the Landsborough Highway was cut at McKinlay then the Flinders Highway between Julia Creek and Cloncurry and Richmond; as well as numerous minor roads soon impassable. Rail operations have now also been suspended as the line is cut in various places.
The upside is, that unlike communities such as Townsville, the rain in the west has fallen at a much steadier rate causing very little damage to infrastructure such as homes and businesses and at the same time has provided drought breaking levels in many places, filling dams and water storages and setting the scene for a great season for 2019.
This has come at a time when properties and graziers who had been hand feeding stock were experiencing their most desperate times and the possibility of worse to come.
Fortunately, it’s now looking like a much brighter year ahead for inland communities as the rain that has fallen will restore soil moisture and bring on plenty of new grass.
For our friends on the coast, as of Monday, February 4, the extent of the damage caused by the monsoonal flooding is not yet clear but it is hoped that it will not be as serious as was first anticipated.