More flood misery for Australian states

Monday 05th Mar 2012 by theWeather Club

Image: Roger Howard

Unseasonal rains have meant that large parts of Eastern Australia have had a disappointing year in terms of the summer sun. But now that excess of rain has become deadly as it has led to the latest in a series of floods to hit the country over recent years. Days of heavy rain have led to swollen rivers, flooded farms and forced authorities across the region to close bridges and roads. At least two people have been killed after being swept away in their cars, and thousands have been forced from their homes as flooding continued across areas in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales.

The first man was swept downstream over the weekend was at Araluen in southern New South Wales as he tried to drive through the flood, but two companions were rescued. On Monday another man died when his car was washed off a road in the town of Glenwood, near Gympie in southeast Queensland, and there are reports that another cars have been swept away in the torrents. As a result authorities have issued warnings telling people not to try and drive through floodwaters as it is just too dangerous.

New South Wales has been hit the worst so far with 70% of the state either already flooded or under threat of inundation. So far over four and a half thousand people are reported to have left their homes in central and western parts of the stricken state.

These latest floods have been caused by days of torrential rain, with one town north of Brisbane seeing 311mm (12 inches) of rain in a 24-hour period. On Monday, emergency officials in New South Wales said there were concerns over rising water levels in the Riverina region in the southwest of the state. The Murrumbidgee river in New South Wales has burst its banks in some areas, and the city of Wagga Wagga is facing the threat of flooding. "It's still a very dangerous situation right across the region," said State Emergency Service spokesman James McTavish.

Only last month thousands of people in Queensland had to leave their homes as the state experienced its third major flood in less than two years, and parts of New South Wales were also cut off by severe flooding.