Wild weather hits Victoria, headed for Queensland

Wild weather hits Victoria, headed forQueensland

5 November 2007

published by www.news.com.au

Australia — Southeast Queensland is heading for a wetweek but the rain but is not expected to be as heavy as the flooding that hitVictoria at the weekend.

A storm system, related to the pattern causing widespread flooding acrossVictoria, will develop tonight leading to persistent showers from early tomorrowmorning, forecasters are saying.

While the mainland’s southernmost state faces a huge cleanup, south eastQueensland will enjoy much lighter rain, forecaster Jonty Hall said.

Parts of central Queensland will receive heavier falls, he said.

“There will be periods of rain but I don’t think there’ll be any thunderin it at all,” he said.

“It will develop locally here in the Brisbane area in the early hours oftomorrow morning and then pretty well continue through much of tomorrow.

“Mostly it’s going to be fairly light. We wouldn’t expect huge totalsaround our part of the world.”

What Queensland does have in common with Victoria is the rain is certain toplay a factor in a major sporting event.

While the Melbourne Cup is likely to be run on a heavy track tomorrow, theFirst Test between Australia and Sri Lanka at the Gabba, starting Thursday,might also face disruptions because of the rain that will hang around for mostof the week, including the weekend.

“I’d say it’s fairly likely there’s going to some short breaks in playbut it’s a good thing it (the test) isn’t starting tomorrow,” he said.

“The activity does gradually peter off during the week. It’s going toget less and less.

“I couldn’t say it’s going to be a fine weekend. There’ll be the oddshower around over the weekend.

“There wont be extended periods of rain but a mixture of showers andsunshine.”


More than 1000 State Emergency Service volunteers responded to about 700calls for help as Victorians suffered flash flooding, falling trees and propertydamage.

Residents of Tinamba and Newry, in Gippsland, were told to evacuate yesterdayas they faced the threat of a second major flood in a year, caused by heavy rainand the release of water from the Glenmaggie Weir.

A 19-year-old Niddrie man was crushed to death by a branch during a campingtrip with three friends at the relatively isolated Allenvale Mill campsite inthe back hills of Lorne, in the state’s southwest.

Police arrived at the campsite but were too late to save the young man, whodied at the scene after he received severe head injuries.

Insp Bill Mathers, from Geelong police, said the violent storms that lashedthe state had cost the man his life.

“It’s just one of those things that happen occasionally and it’sunfortunate the extreme weather conditions obviously have contributed,” hesaid.

“It was obviously a large tree, a fairly solid lump of a tree, fallingover a tent. It’s just a tragedy.”

The victim’s parents and friends were trying to come to terms with the lossof their son and mate yesterday while they packed up the campsite where thetragedy struck.

“Obviously the young people are quite traumatised by it,” InspMathers said. “It’s something that has shocked them and I think they’restill coming to grips with grief as are the family, which is to be expected.”

He said police were preparing a report for the coroner.

More than 100mm of rain fell in the Otways causing flash flooding andmudslides and forcing the evacuation of campers in the region.

The Great Ocean Rd was last night cut by a landslide at Wongarra, betweenKennett River and Apollo Bay.

Emergency services workers were at the scene trying to clear the rubble,dislodged by heavy rain in the area.

Campers were temporarily stranded at the Cumberland River Holiday Park about5km further west along the Great Ocean Rd.

The Cumberland River had burst its banks, flooded the camping grounds andcovered the bridge on the Great Ocean Rd.

The highest rainfall for the state was recorded at Benwerrin in the Otways,where 141mm fell in the 24 hours to 9am yesterday.

The weather bureau issued flood warnings for the Macalister, Thomson, Avon,Mitchell, Latrobe and Barwon rivers and Traralgon Creek.

Flood warnings were also issued for Gippsland, the Otway Ranges and in thenortheast catchment areas of Mitta Mitta, Upper Murray, Kiewa and Ovens andKing.

SES operations director Trevor White said SES and CFA volunteers had beendoorknocking Newry and Tinamba residents urging them to evacuate in daylightwhile the roads were still passable.

The flooding comes just four months after the town was evacuated duringGippsland’s worst floods in decades that killed one man and left a damage billfor the region of more than $90 million.

Southern Rural Water began releasing water from the Glenmaggie Weir, on theMacalister River, yesterday afternoon.

The water was expected to reach the two towns, which lie directly downstream,late in the afternoon.

Mr White said there could be further flooding downstream as far as Sale andinto East Gippsland. “There is potential for some flooding to impact oncommunities in the east of Gippsland and we will be working in conjunction withthe weather bureau to closely monitor the river systems in that area,” hesaid.

Mr White said residents in the small alpine town of Licola had also beenwarned to prepare for possible flooding.

At Tenamba locals were last night desperately sand bagging and ignoring SESadvice to evacuate the town.

They said they had been through it before and would fight the floodwateragain.

Publican Ron Helmke was watching the water advance across the paddockstowards his hotel.

“We’ll just sit here and watch it come up,” he said.

His son, Lucas, 18, was last night wondering if he would get to today’s VCEexam.

Lucas has been offered a defence force scholarship but it hinges on his VCEresults.

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