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Have you ever seen the rain?


By bernieh


While parts of the UK are covered in snow, parts of North Queensland are covered in water. In my north Queensland city we have now had 435mm of rain in the past 3 days of February – yesterday we had 241mm in just one day! So far this year we have had nearly 1500mm of rain. For us it is very uncommon – this city is in what is supposed to be a rain shadow and it’s considered a good year if we get 1000mm of rain throughout the year.

There are waterfalls on the hill opposite our house:

Our city’s river is flooding – our city’s dam is overflowing (usually it’s at about 15% capacity). Those trees in the middle of the river are usually high and dry and in between two little streams of water!

That’s the walkway and cycling path beside the river – normally very high and dry!

Our bridges have not been this close to the water for ages!

Our city streets are like little rivers.

Our racecourse is only suitable for rubber ducky races!

Some of our yards look more like estuarine wetland!

That is a plover about to have a dip in new shopping centre carpark!! or carpark pool maybe!!

Things are not where they should be! A metre and a half long saltwater crocodile was hit by a car as he was crossing a suburban road at about 3.00 am yesterday morning – somehow he had made it halfway up our Ross River and was in a suburb kilometres away from the our coastline!

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Wow Bernieh. What a lot of rain. I hope you are OK and are not in any danger of flooding.

4 Feb, 2009


I hope the rain will ease for you. You must find it strange to have so much. I hope your house is safe.
I'm used to it and I don't find it half as depressing as the unusually heavy snow we've just had in Wales.

4 Feb, 2009


Those are huge floods.
The power of the weather is amazing.
I do hope people and animals keep safe, and that properties don't suffer too much damage.
Thanks for the photos.

4 Feb, 2009


Have you checked between your toes yet? Webs may be growing!
The whole world's weather seems to be on it's head - what are we doing to it?

4 Feb, 2009


Thanks for your concern! To Gilli and Hywel - we're fine and our house is fine. It's the getting to work that has been the problem. Had to travel through quite a bit of water (patches as high as around half a metre) this week and my poor car didn't like it - power steering locked up, brakes failed! My husband and I were also stranded for a bit - couldn't make it home and had to wait for hours before the road opened up to 4WDs which fortunately my husband has. Our home is in the hills in a semi-rural area about 20 kms south of our city and you have to travel down the southern highway to get there - unfortunately it does go under rather quickly with this amount of rain! Luckily there was little rain today so lots of the water has drained away but there's a forecast of another low building up to a category 1 cyclone again nearby - more rain predicted for the end of the week!

4 Feb, 2009


You poor things! There's us over here with our snow - and you with all that water to cope with. Keep safe - don't take risks, will you! I hope it stops soon and you get back to normal. :-)

4 Feb, 2009


Hope you keep safe a well, what's the world coming to.

4 Feb, 2009


Hi Marguerite. Apparently the Herbert River has never had as much water in it - it's passed all its records since records were kept. It's poor old Ingham I feel sorry for - they are still flood-bound and likely to be that way for days. The pictures looked awful on the news last night. As for us here we are now worrying about the two lows that have the chance of developing into cyclones and dumping even more rain. You're right though about our dam - after years of water restrictions and worries about our dam drying up, it's now flooding over all three gates. But as you said in your own blog - this is what it's like in Oz, one extreme to the other.

4 Feb, 2009


Thanks to Clarice, Spritz, Wagger and TT - right now we're waiting for the worst to be over. Unfortunately there is a chance of even more rain and that's the last thing we need. Hopefully all will be well soon. These are the extremes of living in the great south land.

4 Feb, 2009


~I hope that your weather systems don't develop into cyclones and that the rain eases off~it is awful when you are flooded~total misery~~everywhere seems to be having more extreme weather~climate change?

5 Feb, 2009


Hi Margeurite. Well it's Friday morning and we had a bit of a godsend yesterday - very little rain! Most of the flooded streets have drained off although the mud mess that's left is a nightmare. Our supermarket shelves are also rather bare - the truckies have not been getting through to here either as the roads around Ayr/Homehill and Bowen are closed most days. There is a forecast of heavy rain again though for the weekend so the mosquitoes are having parties!! We've had a few cases of dengue so far this year although nothing like the numbers that have been reported in Cairns (over 200!) Apparently the mosquito eradication plan we've had working here for years now - those smoking machines that tour the inner suburbs and mudflats - has resulted in less numbers of the dreaded dengue mosquito. Of course it doesn't eradicate all mozzies and they are rife in the gardens here and literally carry you away if you attempt to go anywhere near the gardens. I miss the sun too! Here in Townsville we generally have sunshine for around 320 days of the year - I think it might be less this year.

5 Feb, 2009


Hi Arlene. Thankfully the two lows that were threatening to develop into cyclones have not done so, that is good news! Although lows dump an awful lot of rain as well and that's been the problem up here this summer - but we certainly don't need cyclones. Parts of Victoria and South Australia are still experiencing record high temps and now parts of New South Wales are reportedly about to get them too over the coming weekend. I'm not sure it's all about climate change - I think this is just the cyclical nature of weather patterns at least here in Oz anyway. I remember wet seasons like the one we're experiencing now happening in my early childhood - but then we had years of 'dry' and drought conditions and we forgot what the true 'wet' season is like.

5 Feb, 2009


~my daughter and her husband had a holiday from Sydney to Cairns via Bundaberg to see the turtles hatch,in 2007 for their first wedding anniversary and they were impressed by how water conscious everyone was then~sounds as if you have had a lot now though!

5 Feb, 2009


Yes Arlene we have had enough right now - but we do appreciate the rain really because we've had years of water restrictions and being conscious of just how much water we really should be using for things like brushing our teeth and having showers (we have been using shower timers in parts of Queensland for almost 2 years because of the lack of water in our dams). Here at school we have been teaching our children for a number of years now about the wise use of water - it is a valuable resource in this dry land of ours (even when we get so much rain)!

6 Feb, 2009


What a contrast with the south,and now they have fires to contend with.Such a tragedy.A pity we all have such extremes-but that's nature I suppose! Keep safe over there:)

7 Feb, 2009


Hi Aster. Yes Australia is such a land of contrasts. It's Sunday morning and we've just woken to the news that there are 25 confirmed deaths in the Victorian bushfires with more predicted. 60% of Queensland is now declared flood disaster areas and parts of N.S.W. have recorded the world's highest ever temperatures - apparently even hotter than the Sahara!! Our most famous bush poet said it best in our iconic Aussie poem "a wilful lavish land."

7 Feb, 2009

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